Seth Godin's Blog on marketing, tribes and respect

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

Latest articles

The magic of the countdown

Thea von Harbou invented the countdown. 10, 9, 8… It works. It focuses the attention of everyone involved and ensures that we’re truly alert for what’s going to happen next. It helps that the numbers go down, not up (because up might never end). And it helps that as we get closer to lift-off, tension goes up, not down. But what really matters...

The 100 hour asset

We’re all so busy doing our work that sometimes we fail to build a skill worth owning. If you invest 100 hours in a rare skill, you’re likely to acquire it. If you could learn to sharpen a tool better than your peers, organize a high-performance database, see the nuances in some sector of cryptography, know how to build a pretty-good WordPress site...

The difference between patina and cruft

Cruft is obsolete. Cruft is broken, discarded, non-functioning refuse that should be hauled away. Patina is the wabi-sabi of positive use. A bookshelf of well-worn encyclopedias (now replaced by Wikipedia) has a patina to it. Simply seeing it reminds us of the possibility of discovery. Patina makes it easier to go forward. Cruft gets in our way.

“It might not be for you”

If you walk into a noisy bar and ask why they don’t have Chopin on the jukebox, they’re unlikely to accommodate you. The same is true if you go to a BBQ joint and insist on sushi. Most of the brands we truly care about stand for something. And the thing they stand for is unlikely to be, “whatever you want, we have it.” It’s also unlikely to be,...

Are we part of us?

Liberty is a state of mind. It can be seen as a chance for freedom, or a promise made but not kept. We can choose to be part of something or choose to be apart. Liberty is the offer and promise and requirement of responsibility. A willingness to connect and to offer dignity in response to those around us. Independence is actually about cooperation...

Wasting second place

100 people apply for a job. 99 are sent home. What if the winner hadn’t applied? You might have been thrilled with the person who almost got the job. 17,000 people apply to a famous college. Only 10% get in. But at least a third were good enough to get in but didn’t get lucky. What happens to their narrative? Selective organizations need to get...

Our top story

When you talk about your last job, your last vacation, the things that happened when you were 12… What do you lead with? Do you lead with, “I broke my ankle that summer and rarely got out” or is it, “I stuck with my reading regimen and read all of Shakespeare.” Because both are true. The top story is the one that informs our narrative, and our...

Stolen ideas

Is there a difference between someone stealing a potato from your farm and someone stealing your idea? Well, if everyone in town comes and takes a potato, your farm is bust. But if everyone in town comes and takes your idea, you’re more known, trusted and effective than you used to be. During Google’s beginnings, their business and tech plan was...

The simple cure for writer’s block

Write. People with writer’s block don’t have a problem typing. They have a problem living with bad writing, imperfect writing, writing that might expose something that they fear. The best way to address this isn’t to wait to be perfect. Because if you wait, you’ll never get there. The best way to deal with it is to write, and to realize that your...

Choices

How will we use our gifts? What difficult choices will we make–when it might be easier to hide? Will we waste our advantages and insulation? Will inertia be our guide, or will we follow our passions? Will we follow dogma, or will we leap forward and be original, generous and helpful? Will we choose a life of ease, or a life of service and adventure?...

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