Seth Godin's Blog on marketing, tribes and respect

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

Latest articles

Generalizations work (until they don’t)

Unlike natural phenomena like orbiting planets or geologic formations, there are no consistent and perfect laws of human behavior. If we’re talking about groups of people, if we’re teaching, leading or trying to predict future behavior (all three are related) then we’re making a generalization. And perhaps we don’t realize it, or aren’t clear that...

Understanding the automatic self

How do you act when you’re not thinking about how you act? When no one is looking and when you’re just doing what you’re doing… That’s the automatic self. No narrative, no second-guessing. Now, here’s the real question: Has your automatic self changed since you were a kid? If it has (and I hope it has) then that’s all the proof we need that...

Shopping is not the same as buying

Just about everyone over the age of fifteen, anywhere in the world, engages in the market in some way. We need things and we buy them. That’s not what shopping is. Shopping is the act of imagining what you might want. It’s the thrilling but risky exchange of money for something that you’ve never purchased before. Something that...

The monopoly distinction

At enlightened companies, leaders are smart enough to ask, “how do we make things better for our customers?” They realize that this simple ratchet leads to loyalty, word of mouth and more customers. At monopolies or companies that seek to act like them, the question is, “how do we make things better for us?”

The persistence of hierarchy and status roles

REM was one of the most respected indy rock bands. You’d think that a group that somehow managed to thread the needle between whatever authentic means to them and huge popular success could walk away from traditional measures of who’s up and who’s not… In a long-ago Rolling Stone article, lead singer Michael Stipe said that he had never heard a song...

More popular (and cheap, too)

If Harper Lee had written To Kill a Mockingbird today, there’s no doubt that the salesforce and the marketers would have pushed for a catchier title, probably with better SEO. And it’s hard to imagine that Waiting for Godot would have ever been performed on Broadway. On a similar note: What would happen if instead of taking elements...

Contradictory answers to obvious questions

That’s how you know that they’re not obvious. When smart, committed people disagree about the answer to a question, you’ve found a question worth pursuing and a discussion worth having.

The grateful pumpkin

It might not be autumn where you live, but the iconography of the large orange pumpkin travels around the world. People carve faces into them, stick a candle inside and use them to ward off the darkness. Perhaps we could consider writing on one instead. Inscribing all the things we’re grateful for, all the people who show up in...

Butterfly hunting

Ideas are like that. The successful editor, curator or entrepreneur doesn’t go hunting ideas to kill them, but to celebrate them, identify them and dance with them. And a brutal, all-out frontal attack won’t work. It’s not about raising a ton of money or insisting that the world supply you with only the good ideas. Quibi failed...

Subconscious pre-filtering

It’s entirely possible to believe that your ideas come from the muse, and your job is to simply amplify them. And that successful people are lucky because the muse keeps giving them useful and powerful ideas. I’m not sure that’s what successful people do. All of us get an endless supply of ideas, notions and inklings. Successful people, often without...

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