Monday, November 21, 2011

An Eighteenth-Century Steve Jobs?

Thomas Bentley
A while back we called your attention to Josiah Wedgwood, the master marketer who may have invented direct mail. Regina Lee Blaszczyk suggests more credit be given to Wedgwood's partner:
In the 1760s, a backwoods British potter named Josiah Wedgwood joined big-city merchant Thomas Bentley and created one of the world's first design-driven companies. Wedgwood and Bentley were remarkably like [Steve] Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple Inc. Wedgwood and Wozniak were both geeks with deep knowledge of the technology. Bentley and Jobs were design futurists who could imagine how consumers might respond to new products. 
Was it Thomas Bentley who thought of direct mail? In any case, he seems to have anticipated Jobs by opening a special Wedgwood store to sell the company's clean, modern designs.

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