Seth Godin's Blog - Posts from February 2016

  • Prep, spec, fit and finish

    In some settings, more than 90% of the time and effort invested isn't in the actual 'work', but in getting setting up, debugging and then polishing the work. Heart surgery, for example, might take five hours to perform, but the actual procedure might only take thirty minutes. A piece of code might take a few hours to create, but days or weeks to be specced, reviewed, tested a ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 6 readers -
  • Live at Carnegie Hall

    Scores of famous musicians (and Bob & Ray) have performed live on the main stage of Carnegie Hall. I am not among them. Instead, last week, I was invited to give a seminar on the 9th floor, in one of their beautiful new classrooms. This was a seminar for the best new musicians in the country, an elite group of young musicians who have spent their lives honing their craft.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 6 readers -
  • What investors want

    They want you to put the money to use building an asset, something that works better and better over time, something that makes your project more profitable and more efficient. And they want you to use that asset to create value that will pay them back many times over. Most small businesses ignore both of these desires.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 6 readers -
  • A whole year? Yes, a whole year for leaping.

    Every four years, the worldwide calendar reminds us of a secret. Leaping. Leaping powers innovation, it is the engine of not only our economy, but of a thrilling and generous life. Of course, you can (and should) be leaping regularly. Like bathing, leaping is a practice, something that never gets old, and is best done repeatedly.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 8 readers -
  • Living with your frustum

    David Bowie left behind an estate worth about $100 million. And there were perhaps five hundred musicians of his generation who were at least as successful. From Brown to Dylan to Buffet to Ross, there were thirty years of big hit makers. That's the top of the pyramid. Lots of people tried to make it in the music business, and there were many thousands at the top, hitting a jackpot.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 3 readers -
  • Milton Glaser's rule

    There are few illustrators who have a more recognizable look (and a longer productive career) than Milton Glaser. Here's the thing: When he started out, he wasn't THE Milton Glaser. He was some guy hoping for work. The rule, then, is that you can't give the client what ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 13 readers -
  • For those unwilling to think deeply...

    You might not be willing to devote the time and energy to understand how electricity actually works, or the mechanisms of your democracy, or the insights behind irrational decision making. More likely, you don't want to expend the emotional labor to push through feeling dumb as you dig de ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 12 readers -
  • When creativity becomes a profession...

    It often stops being creative. Ad agencies are some of the most conservative organizations you'll encounter. They've been so trained by fearful clients, they censor themselves regularly. Successful authors are pushed by concerned publishers to become more true to their genres. And the movie industry... well, it's an industry first. This is wh ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 14 readers -
  • Worth thinking about

    That's one of the most important lists you can have. The list of things worth thinking about. We live in the age of information surplus, when there are answers and shortcuts and highlights and notes and summaries for everything. But not nearly enough time to even be aware of them. The key question isn't ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 10 readers -
  • A manifesto for small teams doing important work

    We are always under tight deadlines, because time is our most valuable asset. If you make a promise, set a date. No date, no promise. If you set a date, meet it. If you can't make a date, tell us early and often. Plan B well prepared is a better strategy than hope. Clean up your own mess. Clean up other people's messes. Overcommunicate. Question premises and strategy.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 18 readers -
  • The irrational thing about trust

    The obvious and rational equation is that being trustworthy plus being transparent will lead you to be trusted. Verification of trustworthiness should lead to trust. This makes sense. Being trustworthy (acting in a way that's worthy of trust) plus being transparent so that people can see your trustworthiness—this should be sufficient.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 15 readers -
  • Loose/tight, thoughts on management

    If you have a pad of Post-Its, a watch or a car, it's unlikely you hired and managed a team of people to build it for you. That makes no sense. You knew exactly what you wanted, and you bought a finished product that met spec. If you do online banking, payroll or even printing, you're doing the same thing.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 11 readers -
  • Anchoring can sink you

    Canny negotiators know that people respond to anchors. If you tell me that your baseball card is for sale for $18, I'm unlikely to offer you $3. Your offering price anchored the conversation. The thing is, we do this outside of negotiation, whenever we ask for insight. If someone says, "can you review this slide deck?" there are a bunch of anchors already built in. Anchor: there are slides.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 13 readers -
  • Intuition

    That's what people call successful decision making that happens without a narrative. Intuition isn't guessing. It's s ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 8 readers -
  • "I've got this"

    A useful lesson for Presidents' Day: Some people care enough to take responsibility. Not shifting the blame, or seeking power or stealing credit. Not finding a sinecure or pointing fingers. What happens when we me ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 6 readers -
  • Instead

    What would have happened if you and your organization, instead of working on today's crisis, built something worthwhile for tomorrow? What would have been discussed instead? What would have been designed instead? Th ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 8 readers -
  • How to talk about your project

    Not in a marketing sense, but strategically, to yourself, your partners, your coaches, your investors: What is it for? When someone hires your product or service, what are they hiring it to do? Who (or what) are you trying to change by doing this work? From what to what? How will you know if it's working? What does it remind me of? Are there parallels, similar projects, things like this tha.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blogin How To's- 6 readers -
  • The thrill is gone

    Of course it is. The definition of a thrill is temporary excitement, usually experienced for the first time. It's thrilling to ride a roller coaster. The fifth time you have to ride it, though, it's more than a chore, it's torture. The definition of the thrill is that it's going to be gone soon. You might have been thrilled to go to your first job the first day. Or thrill ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 11 readers -
  • Managing the very small business

    How do you find, lead and manage employees in a tiny business (two to nine people)? This is an organization that's bigger than a solo operation, but it almost certainly involves everyone reporting to the boss. Consider three options: A team of equals: This is an organization staffed with people who have particular skills, skills that you don't have. This is the Beatles.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 6 readers -
  • "I", "We" and "You"

    One of the most profound ways to change your posture and the way you and your organization interact with customers and partners is to change your pronouns. Instead of saying "I" when you're ready to t ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 9 readers -
  • It's not your turn, is it?

    If you're moving forward and moving fast, you've no doubt heard it: People who look like you aren't qualified to do this work. Your resume is thin. You don't know the right people. You're too young to take this one on. This isn't for someone as cute as you. The thing you failed at, all those years ago, that disqualifies you from this. I don't trust the ___s.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 16 readers -
  • How to deal with seams

    a. There is no seam. We've finessed the seam so thoroughly, you can't even tell. This doctor knows everything about the situation as seen by the last doctor, no need to worry about the handoff. You can't tell where one part of the railing ends and the other begins. Your place in the queue and your records and your status are so clear to the next agent ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blogin How To's- 8 readers -

Seth Godin's Blog

Seth Godin's riffs on marketing, respect, and the ways ideas spread.

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