Seth Godin

  • Lowering the bar

    Raymond Loewy coined the term MAYA to describe Most Advanced Yet Acceptable when it came to futuristic design. The thinking goes that people (the amorphous term for the lumpen masses) won't accept something too advanced, so we ought to lower our standards to gain acceptance. But mass acceptance isn't nearly as important as it used to be.

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  • Facts are not the antidote for doubt

    Drink enough water and you will cease to be thirsty. And yet, a doubting person can be drowning in facts, but facts won't change a mind that doesn't want to be changed. More facts don't counter more doubt. Someone who is shaking her head, arms folded, eyes squinted and ears closed isn't going to be swayed by more facts. Instead, doubt surrenders to experience.

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  • Choosing your fuel

    The work is difficult. Overcoming obstacles, facing rejection, exploring the unknown--many of us need a narrative to fuel our forward motion, something to keep us insisting on the next cycle, on better results, on doing work that matters even more. The fuel you choose, though, determines how you will spend your days.

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  • Just words

    How about, just bullets, just diseases, just starvation? The whole "sticks and stones" canard is really dangerous. When a stone gives you a bruise, it's entirel ...

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  • Say one thing at a time

    I know, you might not get the microphone back for a while. And I know, you want to make sure everyone understands precisely what went into your thinking. Not to mention your desire to make sure that everyone who hears ...

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  • Three ways to add value

    Tasks, decisions, and initiation... Doing, choosing, and starting... Each of the three adds value, but one is more prized than the others. Tasks are set up for you. Incoming. You use skill and effort to knock em down one at a time and move to the next one. Decisions often overlap with tasks. There are alternatives, and you use knowledge and judgme ...

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  • Emotional labor

    That's the labor most of us do now. The work of doing what we don't necessarily feel like doing, the work of being a professional, the work of engaging with others in a way that leads to the best long-term outcome. The emotional labor of listening when we'd rather yell. The emotional labor of working with someone instead of firing th ...

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  • What Henry Ford understood about wages

    Every time Ford increased the productivity of car production (in one three-year period, he lowered labor costs by 66% per car), he also raised wages. Not merely because it's the right thing to do. He did it because well-paid workers had more to spend. On houses, on cl ...

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  • The waitlist for the altMBA

    Our twelfth session of the altMBA workshop is upcoming. We're only going to do it two more times in 2017, and if this is something you're thinking of doing one day, I hope you'll let us know. You can sign up for our list here. You'll find out what we're up to and get first dibs on our application dates. Our list of alumni keeps growing.

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  • Stinginess in the connection economy

    When six people are trying to split a pizza, some stinginess appears. After all, more for one person is less for the other five. But in interactions that lead to connection, to shared knowledge, to possibility, it's pretty clear that there isn't a zer ...

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  • Groucho runs deep

    Groucho Marx famously said, "I don't want to be a member of any club that would have me." Thanks to our connection economy, the membership rolls are now wide open, but the problem isn't declining. There are so many communities that want you. So many opportunities to connect, to learn, to leap. Some communities have skills and want to share them with you. And other ones need you to teach.

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  • When time catches up

    And it always does. Bad decisions happen for one of two reasons: A. You're in a huge hurry and you can't process all the incoming properly. But more common... B. The repercussions of your decision won't happen for months or years. This is why we don't save for retirement, don't pay attention to long-term environmental issues, and, tragically, tolerate (or fall prey to) irra ...

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  • "It's not my problem"

    But what if it was? What if the apparently intractable cultural issues that you take for granted were instead seen as problems on your desk, things you co ...

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  • Possibility

    This is not the same as reality. But without belief in the possibility, your reality is going to be severely curtailed. We must avoid the temptation t ...

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  • Tension vs. fear

    Fear's a dream killer. It puts people into suspended animation, holding their breath, paralyzed and unable to move forward. Fear is present in many education settings, because fear's a cheap way to ensure compliance. "Do this," the teacher threatens, "or something bad is going to happen to you." The thing is, learning is difficult.

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  • In defense of the tree emoji

    The boom emoji gets a lot of play. It happened. It worked. We won. Boom. The tree emoji, on the other hand, celebrates the patient and generous acts of planting seeds, watering them, caring for them, and then, in ...

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  • Pre-existing conditions

    We all have them. By the time we get this far, we've got bangs and bruises, things that don't work quite right, experiences that have shaped us, sometimes for the worse. It's starts early. We're all born with them and into them. Sometimes we get lucky and we're surro ...

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