Seth Godin

  • Constructive dissatisfaction

    It's never been easier to find ways to be disappointed in our performance. You can compare your output, your income, your success rate to a billion people around the globe... many of whom are happy to exaggerate to make you even more disappointed. It's hardly worth your trouble. The exception is the dissatisfaction that is based on a legitimate comparison, one that gives you ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 11 readers -
  • Your fast car

    Right there, in your driveway, is a really fast car. And here are the keys. Now, go drive it. Right there, in your hand, is a Chicago Pneumatics 0651 hammer. You can drive a nail through just about anything with it, again and again if you choose. Time to use it. And here's a key ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 10 readers -
  • In search of competition

    The busiest Indian restaurants in New York City are all within a block or two of each other. Books sell best in bookstores, surrounded by other books, their ostensible competitors. And it's far easier to sell a technology solution if you're not the only one pioneering ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 11 readers -
  • Can you live in a shepherd's hut?

    The best way to plan a house on a vacant piece of land is to move into a tiny shepherd's hut on a corner of the property. It's not fancy, and it's not comfortable, but you can probably stay there for a week or two. And during that week, you'll understand more about the land than you ever could in an hour of walking around. You'll see how the rain falls and the sun shines and the puddles form.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 19 readers -
  • Selling confusion

    Over the last few decades, there's been a consistent campaign to sow confusion around evolution, vaccines and climate change. In all three areas, we all have access to far more data, far more certainty and endless amounts of proof that the original theories have held up. The data is more accurate than it's ever been.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 9 readers -
  • Beware of false averages

    Some people like really spicy food. Some people like bland food. Building a restaurant around sorta spicy food doesn't make either group happy. It's tempting to look at pop music, network TV and the latest hot fashion and come to the conclusion that the recipe for success is to focus group everyone, average it up and make something that pleases the big hump in the middle, whi ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 11 readers -
  • Fitting in all the way

    It seems like a fine way to earn trust. Merely fit in. In every way. Don't do anything to draw attention to yourself, to be left out, to challenge the status quo. Go along with the crowd to get ahead. That doesn't build trust. It simply makes you easy ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 14 readers -
  • Appropriate collusion (organizing the weaker side)

    Businesses with power are prohibited from colluding with one another to set prices or other policies. For good reason. Public officials and economists realize that it’s quite tempting for an oligopoly to work to artificially create scarcity or cooperate--it creates significant short term profits and hurts those without the power to do something about it.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 14 readers -
  • Optimized or maximized?

    I once drove home from college at 100 miles an hour. It saved two hours. My old car barely made it, and I was hardly able to speak once I peeled myself out of the car. That was maximum speed, but it wasn't optimum. Systems have an optimum level of performance. It's the output that permits the elements (including the humans) to do their best work, to persist at it, to avoid d ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 39 readers -
  • Building on maximized systems

    If you eat beef, you're probably using a maximized system. It's a commodity, and every part of the chain is under huge pressure to increase yield and cut corners. The animals are pushed to the brink, and so are the humans that work on them. And if you keep your money in the bank, it's likely that the same thing is happeni ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 9 readers -
  • Impossible, unlikely or difficult?

    Difficult tasks have a road map. With effort, we can get from here to there. It might surprise you to realize that difficult is easy once you have the resources and commitment. Paving a road is difficult, so is customer service and fixing software bugs. But impossible and unlikely are where we get hung up. On Tuesday, Apple launched a thousand dollar phone.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 35 readers -
  • Toward cooperation

    It's tempting to be oppositional. To see the different as the other. To dominate, to win, to move up as others move down (because in the zero sum game that we've built around us, that's the only way). But a networked world, one based on connection—one held together by the ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 18 readers -
  • The musclebound baby

    That's pretty unlikely. When we see someone with well developed abs, we don't say, "oh sure, he was born that way." Instead, we realize that a lot of effort went into it. The same thing ought to be true for people who understand science, ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 14 readers -
  • The power of community learning

    It's easy to imagine that some things have to be the way they've always been. That music has to be delivered on a round platter. That an overnight stay needs to be in a hotel. And that learning is solely the result of top-down lectures plus tests for compliance. The internet is a transformational technology, not merely a faster way to send an email.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 16 readers -
  • First aid matters

    Without a doubt, it's long-term, consistent and persistent effort that makes real change happen. Systemic change is a process, not an event. But as we watch Irma bear down on millions in Florida, it's worth remembering that first aid brings urgent help to pe ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 19 readers -
  • Common traps, worth avoiding

    Don't be trapped into accepting shame from someone who is trying to keep you from doing something you have every right to do. Ignore the mob that would like you to feel badly for not fitting in. Categories are rarely permanent, and most important work is done by people who don't easily fit in. Realize that no ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 9 readers -
  • Airbrushing

    When they began airbrushing the models in fashion magazines fifty years ago, no one complained much. Everyone knew, we thought, that it was some sort of make believe. But then they started airbrushing our food. And then vacations. And family photos. And brands. And jobs. Spend enough time looking through the glass on your tablet and you'll come to believe that you're the ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 20 readers -
  • Everybody is a marketer

    But most of us don't like to admit it. That's because selfish marketers are pretty scummy. They steal our attention, they lie to us, they use shame and guilt and the short-term zinger to get us to buy something we don't want and don't need. That's not you, of course. You're trying to bring your idea to the world, grow your freelance practice or do a great job for the company you work for.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 6 readers -
  • Compulsory Education is an oxymoron (back-to-school rant)

    Effective education is rarely done TO people. It's done with them. I had my first professional teaching gig forty years ago this summer. Since then, I've taught at institutions like NYU and Tufts, at community colleges, from the stage, one on one and most of all, on the vanguard of digital media.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 14 readers -