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Seth Godin's Blog on marketing, tribes and respect

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Classical music and documentaries

Check the ratings, whichever magazine or website you choose: Classical music and documentary films almost always get more stars and higher ratings than pop music and feature films. The reason is simple: The folks who like stuff like that like stuff like that. The smallest viable audience for certain genres is very clear. That allows...

Looking at taxes

Ever since there have been taxes, people have been against paying them. If we define a tax as a “non-productive burden on our activities,” then it makes sense. And a payment doesn’t have to be to the government to be a tax. Is paying your electric bill a tax? Most people don’t mind paying for electricity, because it makes their...

Sharp language

The internet has provided all of us with an advanced class on using innuendo, piercing invective and anger to make a point with our writing. Now, instead of simply seething or ranting, just about anyone can write an email or a social media post that absolutely destroys someone else. To what end? If the goal is to persuade,...

The smallest viable audience

It’s a stepping-stone, not a compromise. The media and our culture push us to build something for everyone, to sand off the edges and to invest in infrastructure toward scale. But it turns out that quality, magic and satisfaction can lie in the other direction. Not because we can’t get bigger, but because we’d rather be better....

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...

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