Seth Godin's Blog - Posts from May 2016

  • The other kind of harm

    Pop culture is enamored with the Bond villian, the psycho, the truly evil character intent on destruction. It lets us off the hook, because it makes it easy to see that bad guys are other people. But most of the stuff that goes wrong, much of the organizationa ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 4 readers -
  • Duck!

    Perhaps you can't see it, but we can. That 2 x 4, the board set right across that doorway, about 5 feet off the ground. You're running it at it full speed, and in a moment, you're going to slam into it, which is going to hurt, a lot. This happens to most of us, metaphorically anyway, at one time or another. But when it happens repeatedly, you probably have a hygiene problem.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 7 readers -
  • Rigor

    Doing things with rigor takes effort, but not everything you put effort into is done with rigor. Rigor is a focus on process. Paying attention to not just how you do things, but why. Rigor requires us to never use an emergency as an excuse. It is a process for the long haul, the work of a professional. An ama ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 8 readers -
  • The possibility of optimism (the optimism of possibility)

    Is the glass half full or half empty? The pessimist sees what's present today and can only imagine eventual decline. The glass is already half empty and it's only going to get worse. The optimist understands that there's a difference between today and tomorrow. The glass is half full, with room for more. The vision is base ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 26 readers -
  • On being treated like an adult

    It's great to dream like a kid, but no fun to be treated like one. It bristles because we feel that, even if the person involved has best intentions, we've outgrown being treated like a child. Some behaviors to consider if you want to avoid this situation... Make long-term plans instead of whining Ask hard questions but accept truthful answers Don't insist that there's a mo ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 4 readers -
  • The momentum myth

    Roller coasters work because of momentum—the quantity of motion from the downhill allows the car to make it up the next rise. Without momentum, the car would merely stop. But few things in the world of ideas follow the same rules. Ideas have no mass, they don't coast. Authors fall into this trap over and over again.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 5 readers -
  • Identity vs. logic

    Before we start laying out the logical argument for a course of action, it's worth considering whether a logical argument is what's needed. It may be that the person you're engaging with cares more about symbols, about tribal identity, about t ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 3 readers -
  • Beware the gulf of disapproval

    As your new idea spreads, most people who hear about it will dislike it. (click to enlarge) Start at the left. Your new idea, your proposal to the company, your new venture, your innovation—no one knows about it. As you begin to promote it, most of the people (the red line) who hear about it don't get it.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 22 readers -
  • Problems

    Avoiding a problem with foresight and good design is a cheap, highly leveraged way to do your work. Extinguishing a problem before it gets expensive and difficult is almost as good, and far better than paying a premium when there's an emergency. Fretting about an impending problem, worrying about it, imagining the implications of it... all of this is worthless. The magi ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 9 readers -
  • More than ten is too many

    Human beings suffer from scope insensitivity. Time and again, we're unable to put more urgency or more value on choices that have more impact. We don't donate ten times as much to a charity that's serving 10 times (or even 100 times) more people. We don't prioritize our interest or our urgency based on scale, we do it based on noise.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 6 readers -
  • The toddler strategy

    Most people don't get too upset at anything a two-year-old kid says to them. That's because we don't believe that toddlers have a particularly good grasp on the nuances of the world, nor do they possess much in the way of empathy. Mostly, though, it turns out that getting mad at a toddler doesn't do any good, because he's not going to change as a result (not for a fe ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 19 readers -
  • Unlimited bowling

    When we were kids, my mom, fully exasperated, would survive a day when school was closed by dropping a bunch of us off at Sheridan Lanes for a few hours of bowling. You only had a certain amount of money to spend, and each game (and the snacks) cost, so we knew that one could only play a few games. Which meant that every single roll mattered. Don't waste one.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 12 readers -
  • The short run and the long run

    It's about scale. Pick a long enough one (or a short enough one) and you can see the edges. In the short run, there's never enough time. In the long run, constrained resources become available. In the short run, you can fool anyone. In the long run, trust wins. In the short run, we've got a vacancy, hire the next person you find.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 24 readers -
  • "What do I owe you?"

    One of the little-remembered innovations of the industrial economy was the price tag. If it was for sale, you knew how much it cost. And if you got a job, you knew what you got paid--by the piece, at first, and then by the hour and perhaps by the week. Both price tags and pre-agreed wages are pretty new ideas, ideas that fundamentally changed our culture.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 6 readers -
  • Calling your finding

    Many people are trying to find their calling. But that doesn't explain Marianne Money, bank manager, or Jim Kardwell, who owns a card company. Or Thomas Duck who started Ugly Duckling rent-a-car and Tito Beveridge who makes vodka. It doesn't explain why people named Dennis are more likely to become ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 8 readers -
  • Striking a chord

    Commonly misunderstood and misspelled as "striking a cord." A cord is a single strand that connects. You can strike a cord, but not much happens. A ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 4 readers -
  • Amplifying social proof

    Trust is the biggest hurdle. And trust largely comes from social proof. Is everyone doing this? Is it safe? Will I be embarrassed/ridiculed/left out/left behind/feel stupid? Social proof shares a word with social networks, but they're only loosely related. Social proof is the story we end up believing.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blogin Social- 6 readers -
  • Our bias for paid marketing

    A few rhetorical questions: Is a physical therapist with a professional logo better than one with a handmade sign? Are you more likely to stay at a hotel that you've heard of as opposed to an unknown one, even if 'heard of' refers to the fact that they've run ads? Do you believe that companies that rank higher in search results are better than the ones a few pages later? And if you don't, th.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 9 readers -
  • Using video well

    The web was built on words. And words, of course, are available to anyone who can type. They're cheap, easy to edit and incredibly powerful when used well. Today's internet, though, is built on video. Much more difficult to create well, far more impactful when it works. My friends at Graydin, for example, needed only 140 seconds to make their case about their practice.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 8 readers -
  • Actually, more data might not be what you're hoping for

    They got us hooked on data. Advertisers want more data. Direct marketers want more data. Who saw it? Who clicked? What percentage? What's trending? What's yielding? But there's one group that doesn't need more data... Anyone who's making a long-term commitment. Anyone who seeks to make art ...

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

    A neighbor recently put in some new sidewalk. As usual, the workman interrupted the unbroken swath of perfect concrete with lines every three feet. What are the lines for? Well, the ground shifts. When it does, perfect concrete cracks in unpredictable ways, often ruining the entire job. When you put th ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 11 readers -
  • Metaphors aren't true

    But they're useful. That's why professionals use them to teach, to learn and to understand. A metaphor takes what we know and uses it as a lever to understand something else. And the only way we can do that is by starting with the true thing and then twisting it into a new thing, a thing we'll be able to also understand.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 6 readers -
  • Wasting our technology surplus

    When someone handed you a calculator for the first time, it meant that long division was never going to be required of you ever again. A huge savings in time, a decrease in the cognitive load of decision making. Now what? You can use that surplus to play video games and hang out. Or you can use that surplus to go learn how to do something that can't be done by someone merel ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 18 readers -
  • How to use a microphone

    More than 10,000 people attended the Lincoln Douglas debates, and yet they debated without amplification. It's only quite recently that we began to disassociate talking-to-many from talking loudly. Having a large and varied audience used to mean yelling, it used to be physically taxing, it would put our entire body on alert. Now, of course, all of us have a microphone.

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blogin How To's- 8 readers -
  • Learning from the rejection

    When someone doesn't say yes, they'll often give you a reason. A common trap: Believe the reason. If you start rebuilding your product, your pitch and your PR based on the stated reason, you're driving by looking in the rear view mirror. The people who turn you down have a reason, but they're almost certainly not telling you why. Fake reasons: I don' ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 18 readers -
  • The originality paradox

    There are a billion people trying to do something important for the first time. These people are connected by the net, posting, creating, daring to leap first. It's hard, because the number of people racing with you to be original is huge. The numbers are so daunting that the chances that you will create somet ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 15 readers -
  • There is more than one solution to your problem (and your problem is real)

    Challenge one: Believing that the solution you've got (the person you want to hire, the strategy you want to implement, the decision you want to make) is the one and only way to make the problem go away or take advantage of the opportunity. Falling in love with your solution makes it incredibly difficult to see its flaws, to negotiate with people who don't agree with you, to ...

    Seth Godin/ Seth Godin's Blog- 15 readers -

Seth Godin's Blog

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

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