Seth Godin's Blog on marketing, tribes and respect - RSS Feed

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

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The department of bad behavior

What if organizations had a division that simply did the bad stuff? The people who were responsible for creating system updates that slow down old computers, that cover up bad behavior by employees, the people who dump pollution into the river when no one is watching… If all the folks who invent dark patterns, lobby in secret, and gaslight whistleblowers...

Switch before perfect

In 1993, when I was raising investment for one of the first internet companies, there weren’t any firms that specialized in this sort of thing. They were VCs from a different era, looking for the next Fedex or pharma company. I pitched dozens of them, and the answer was consistent, “get back to us when this is irresistible and then of course...

False metrics appearing real

Just because they’re easy to measure doesn’t mean they matter. If they appear in round numbers and are easily compared to those from others, we’re tempted to compare. But something that looks like a useful metric might not be. If you’re working with people who say they care about measurement, it might not pay to persuade...

Possibility is fragile

And that’s the paradox, because the closer possibility gets to reality, the more it engages with the unforgiving edges of the real world. As we begin to imagine something better, it’s important to have some insulation, room to believe and a chance to fill in the missing pieces. But then we have to allow the constraints of reality...

The grandstanders

This is a common sort of feedback/criticism/brainstorming, and it deserves a name. Show up toward the end, when most of the work has been done and it’s almost time to ship… Make a suggestion that would require changing a great deal of what’s been done. It might even be a good suggestion on its face, but it’s hard to tell… ...

Please share the extra with a friend

Krispy Kreme grew to become a doughnut behemoth in the US. The formula was simple: Scarce supply, high short-term taste satisfaction, and a dozen priced almost the same as just four. As a result, most people bought a dozen. But few could eat a dozen, and you can’t really save them, so you realized that sharing a warm doughnut was the way...

Newbies welcome

The paradox of most tightly-knit communities is that they have an internal culture. And that culture often makes it difficult for a new person to join. It’s hard to have insiders if you don’t have outsiders. This is true for guilds of copy editors, fans of anime or branches of science. The key transition point for any cause or...

Everyone else is

Well, not everyone. Just most people. When you do something that everyone else is doing, you’re likely to get what everyone else is getting. But in almost every population, “everyone” leaves out the people who go first, who change things, who are weird and who challenge the status quo. That’s an option, even when it doesn’t seem...

Data, information and decisions

Data is everywhere, but turning it into information isn’t free. It takes focus, effort, consultation and time. More information is only useful if it helps you make a decision. Knowing the temperature on Saturn isn’t useful. Knowing it to even more accuracy is less useful. That’s because we’re not making any decisions that involve...

Five beats

When we’re close to an answer, there are two easy paths–name it, right now, and move on. Or avoid the answer and the responsibility that comes with it and stall. The best path is the third one. Wait for five beats. Kneejerk is not an admirable trait. A few breaths before we rip into someone. A few questions before we...

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