Peter Drucker on business

Just came across some interesting quotes from The Essential Drucker, via Nivi.

On Results:

Profit is not the explanation, cause, or rationale of business behavior and business decisions, but rather the test of their validity… the root of the confusion is the mistaken belief that the motive of a person – the so-called profit motive of the businessman – is an explanation of his behavior or his guide to right action. Whether there is such a thing as a profit motive at all is highly doubtful. The idea was invented by the classical economists to explain the economic reality that their theory of static equilibrium could not explain.

On Marketing:

… the aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous. The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself.

Why do I find these two quotes in particular so interesting? They fly in the face of the preconceived notion built up by paranoia in the West of the evil empire and brainwashing marketers.

It just turns the mirror of responsibility back on the individual, and if you’re so swayed then you lack the insight to see it. It’s all scapegoating. Anything that isn’t your fault you can work to resolve. As Nivi states on his Twitter site, all problems are opportunities.

Or, as Geuvera said, the job of every revolutionary is to make revolution. Not to sit and bitch about it.


  1. Funny… Drucker was one of my many inspirations for this article:

  2. Von Mises's Ghost

    April 19, 2007 at 7:59 pm

    what is the fucking neo-occultist 1998 Richard Metzger dot-bomb era hangover-fascination with “marketing?” Is this some attempt to gain credibility? “I study goetia AND marketing!” Currently it seems something like “oooh he made all those people buy it big scary juju”. Let’s apply some fucking Dawkins-approved “skepticism” here: it’s easy credit at 17% that lets the marketers grab anything. That and we know for a fact that approximately a third of people buying things aren’t doing it out of marketing. So suddenly marketing isn’t all that sexy. But damn does it feel so cool, so hip, so urban and young to be an Early Adopter! Hope you like your betamax player.

    “Hey, I’ve got an idea! Maybe we can use ‘Marketing’ to sell no-interest no-payment no-equity loans to people who will default on them! Then we can jack off to some sigils to save our asses when the bank we sold the loans to wants actual money!” Congratulations, you may have just checked out of fiscal reality but you have an opening for you over at the Federal Reserve.

    Secondly, people are confusing PR with marketing. I’ll mention as an aside that most people are so fucking fascinated by marketing in my opinion because they couldn’t dream up a decent product or financial plan to save their lives, let alone explain where the fucking money came from. PR is pretty fucking bad–you may not know this, but the success of modern “conservatism” is basically a PR campaign–as it is a direct attempt to sway media content–and it’s really goddamn easy to do if you have those megabucks, wrung from credit cards.

    And for Drucker to pretend that money doesn’t matter–only a decadent product of the American education system could suggest something so ungrounded from capital as that. Are you getting up each day to “make meaning” or to pay your rent and see positive return on your investments?

    But maybe I spend too much time with bankers and looking at stock charts.

    until next time, you can reach me on Ayn Rand Island.

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