Seth Godin

  • On being irritated

    Irritation is a privilege. It's the least useful emotion, one that we never seek out. People in true distress are never irritated. Someone who is hungry or drowning or fleeing doesn't become irritated. And of course, irritation rarely helps us get what we need. Irritation clouds our judgment, frustrates our relationships and gets our priorities all wrong.

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  • Moral hazard and inhumanity

    One bit of economic reasoning says, "If there are no consequences, people will make bad choices." Don't let big banks get bailouts, because if we do, bankers will take bigger risks. So, make sure that the dentist is expensive (and painful) because that will encourage people to brush their teeth. And don't make it too easy to collect on fire insurance, or people will be careless with matches.

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  • Hardware is sexy, but it's software that matters

    You can make software if you choose to. Not just the expected version of software that runs on a computer, but the metaphorical idea of rules and algorithms designed to solve problems and connect people... Apple started as a hardware company with the Apple II. Soon in, they realized that while hardware is required, it's software that changes the world.

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  • Beating yourself up

    This odd behavior mostly shows up when others are criticizing us, disappointed or angry about something we did. Odd because it's so useless. In those moments, there are already plenty of other people beating you up. Save yourse ...

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  • Making a new decision based on new information

    This is more difficult than it sounds. To some people, it means admitting you were wrong. (But of course, you weren't wrong. You made a decision based on one set of facts, but now you're aware of something new.) To some people, sunk costs are a real emotional hot button, and walking away from investments of time, of money, and mostly, of commitment, is difficult.

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  • Differences

    If you're sharing a cab to the airport with a stranger, what happens if he's two inches taller than you? Probably nothing. There's nothing to distract, or to cause discomfort. You make small talk. What if he's a little shorter than you? Or left handed? Perhaps he's not from your town, but from Depew, about twenty miles away. Probably nothing to consider...

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  • You're invited to an all-day Q&A in New York in December

    We've been planning this one for months... On Saturday, December 10, I'll be running an all-day session in New York. You can find all the details and tickets by visiting this site. I want to connect you to other people making a ruckus. I want to create an environment where you can learn more and dream bigger. And I'd like to do it in a way that lasts.

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  • Ketchup and the third-party problem

    Sir Kensington's Ketchup is better ketchup. Most adults who try it agree that it's more delicious, a better choice. Alas, Heinz has a host of significant advantages, including dominant shelf space, a Proustian relationship with our childhood and unlimited money to spend on advertising. The thing is, you can buy Sir Kensington's any time you want to. And when you buy it, that's what you get.

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  • Corrosion

    The things that break all at once aren’t really a problem. You note that they’ve broken, and then you fix them. The challenge is corrosion. Things that slowly fade, that eve ...

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  • Your discomfort zone

    Most of us need an external stimulus to do our best work. It helps to have an alarm clock if you want to get out of bed before dawn. A presentation. A deadline. A live performance. The threat of foreclosure, an upcoming review or some sort of crisis. We can use these pressures to dig deeper, find new resources and overcome our self doubt.

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  • Cutting through the clutter

    You're trying to get through all the noise and the distraction and the clutter with your message. Here's the thing: You are the noise and the distraction and the clutter. Just because it's important t ...

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  • What would happen...

    if we chose to: Get better at setting and honoring deadlines Help one more person, each day Sit in the front row Ask a hard question every time we go to a meeting Give more and take less Learn to master ...

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  • Cable news

    What if the fear and malaise and anger isn't merely being reported by cable news... What if it's being caused by cable news? What if ubiquitous video accompanied by frightening and freaked out talking heads is actually, finally, changing our culture? Which came first, the news or the news cycle? We seem to accept the hegemony of bottom-feeding media as some natural outgrow ...

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  • Now is never (but here comes tomorrow)

    Everything you're working on is an investment in tomorrow. While we can choose to enjoy the process, the end result is always at the end of an arc, always the result of many steps, of earning trust, of building a connection. If you view ...

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  • FPO

    When creating a layout, designers put low-resolution, imperfect, non-final images, all marked "for position only." They exist to help the client understand the gestalt of the piece and to give feedback. They're temporary, parts o ...

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  • Visualize the leaks

    It's almost impossible to walk past a spewing faucet without stopping and trying to turn it off. We can't bear to see the waste. But our organizations leak all the time. The talented people who don't stic ...

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  • "Here, I made this"

    "I" as in me, you, us, the person who's on the line. This is the work of a human. The audience can make a direct connection between you and the thing you're offering. "Made" because it took effort, originality and skill. "This" is not a wishy-washy concept. It's concrete a ...

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  • The chance of a lifetime

    That would be today. And every day, if you're up for it. The things that change our lives (and the lives of others) are rarely the long-scheduled events, the much-practiced speeches or the annual gala. No, it's almost certain that the next c ...

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  • Do what you're good at, or...

    get really good at what you do. You have nearly unlimited strategic choices and options about your career and what your organization does. Which means you can focus on doing things you are truly good at. Or, if a particular task, project or career is important to you, you can do the hard work to get good at it. But it makes no sense ...

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