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Preview: Seth's Blog

Seth Godin's Blog on marketing, tribes and respect



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



Updated: 2017-07-25T13:22:45-04:00

 



Last call for The Marketing Seminar, summer edition

2017-07-25T13:22:45-04:00

We teach modern marketing. Marketing that doesn't involve spam or tricks or hype. Marketing that sees a world bigger than you currently serve, and a market small enough to actually care about what you make. And marketing that isn't defined...        We teach modern marketing.  Marketing that doesn't involve spam or tricks or hype. Marketing that sees a world bigger than you currently serve, and a market small enough to actually care about what you make. And marketing that isn't defined by spending all day in social media, pitching average stuff to the masses. The sprint is on, and we're hoping you can consider enrolling in the only currently scheduled session of the Seminar. If you were waiting, today's the day. Find out more here. And see the curriculum as well as honest feedback from our students. We've just started our session, and since we're now three lessons in, it's only open for signups for a few more days. I hope you can join us.         [...]



Cultural density

2017-07-25T05:10:00-04:00

In your organization, how many decisions and interactions are driven by culture first? While it's possible to imagine an organization that has no culture, one that is merely a context-free meritocracy and game-theory driven machine, that's unlikely. The higher your...

In your organization, how many decisions and interactions are driven by culture first?

While it's possible to imagine an organization that has no culture, one that is merely a context-free meritocracy and game-theory driven machine, that's unlikely.

The higher your cultural density, the more important it is that you get it right.

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Be the different one

2017-07-24T04:25:00-04:00

Leonard Nimoy created one of our culture's singular fictional characters. Gene Roddenberry gave him the opportunity, but it was Nimoy who developed Spock. A key moment came in one of the first episodes. Everyone on the bridge was freaking out...        Leonard Nimoy created one of our culture's singular fictional characters. Gene Roddenberry gave him the opportunity, but it was Nimoy who developed Spock. A key moment came in one of the first episodes. Everyone on the bridge was freaking out about something or other, and Spock's line was a simple word: "Fascinating." Nimoy first delivered it in the same excited, scared tone as everyone else. The director took him aside and said, "be the different one." Easy to say, difficult to do. By being the different one, Spock became a character for the ages, and changed the center of gravity for the series' narrative. The same thing could be said for your career, or the impact your organization makes.   [PS James Hunt just built a very generous site, one that catalogs nearly 250 books written or recommended by me over the last decade.]         [...]



Instead of the easy numbers...

2017-07-23T05:03:00-04:00

What is it that you hope to accomplish? Not what you hope to measure as a result of this social media strategy/launch, but to actually change, create or build? An easy but inaccurate measurement will only distract you. It might...        What is it that you hope to accomplish? Not what you hope to measure as a result of this social media strategy/launch, but to actually change, create or build?  An easy but inaccurate measurement will only distract you. It might be easy to calibrate, arbitrary and do-able, but is that the purpose of your work?   I know that there's a long history of a certain metric being a stand-in for what you really want, but perhaps that metric, even though it's tried, might not be true. Perhaps those clicks, views, likes and grps are only there because they're easy, not relevant.   If you and your team can agree on the goal, the real goal, they might be able to help you with the journey...   System innovations almost always involve rejecting the standard metrics as a first step in making a difference. When you measure the same metrics, you're likely to create the same outcomes. But if you can see past the metrics to the results, it's possible to change the status quo.         [...]



All deals are handshake deals

2017-07-22T04:30:00-04:00

The only variable is how specific you're willing to be about who is promising what. Specific contracts don't completely protect you from dishonorable people. What they do is make it really clear about what it takes to do what you...

The only variable is how specific you're willing to be about who is promising what.

Specific contracts don't completely protect you from dishonorable people. What they do is make it really clear about what it takes to do what you said you were going to do.

Start with a good agreement. But your future depends on doing agreements with good people.

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Upcoming speaking and teaching schedule

2017-07-21T12:32:39-04:00

Today at 1:15 NY time, I'll be doing a Facebook Live, answering your questions about marketing. You can join us here. (Facebook archives these, so it's okay if you don't see it live... but if you're there when it happens,...        Today at 1:15 NY time, I'll be doing a Facebook Live, answering your questions about marketing. You can join us here. (Facebook archives these, so it's okay if you don't see it live... but if you're there when it happens, you can post your question). I've done a few of these over the last month or two, and it's becoming a fascinating new medium for sharing ideas. This Q&A is part of the final rollout of the summer session of The Marketing Seminar, which begins on Monday, so today's your last best chance to sign up. And then we'll turn this into a doubleheader, at 2 pm segueing the Facebook Live into a conversation about thriving as a change agent in a big company, part of what people learn in the altMBA. Upcoming events: Boston for the Business of Software conference on September 18. Also, the Smart Hustle Small Business Conference - on November 1 in New York City, and in Raleigh, NC for Internet Summit on November 16.         [...]



How much does a ton weigh?

2017-07-21T04:29:00-04:00

It's not unusual to describe a heavy object in tonnage. But no one has any idea how much a ton is, really. Is 250 tons a lot? How much? 250 tons is 500,000 pounds. About the weight of 8 houses....

It's not unusual to describe a heavy object in tonnage.

But no one has any idea how much a ton is, really. Is 250 tons a lot? How much?

250 tons is 500,000 pounds. About the weight of 8 houses. Or the weight of 100,000 bricks.

Which is a solid stack of bricks 10 x 10 by 1,000 bricks high. 

It would take you more than 2 months, working 24 hours a day, a brick a minute, to unload that many bricks.

Facts are facts, but images resonate.

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Toward dumber

2017-07-20T04:48:00-04:00

If you want to reach more people, if you're measuring audience size, then the mantra of the last twenty years has been simple: make it dumber. Use clickbait headlines. Short sentences. Obvious ideas. Little nuance. Don't make people uncomfortable or...        If you want to reach more people, if you're measuring audience size, then the mantra of the last twenty years has been simple: make it dumber. Use clickbait headlines. Short sentences. Obvious ideas. Little nuance. Don't make people uncomfortable or ask them to stretch. Remind them that they were right all along. Generate a smile or a bit of indignation. Most of all, dumb it down. And it works. For a while. And then someone comes along who figures out how to take your version of dumbness and go further than you were willing to go. Until everything becomes the National Enquirer. While this downward cycle of dumb continues to be passed from hand to hand, a few people headed in the other direction. Measuring not the size of the audience, but their engagement, their commitment and the change that was possible. This is an upward cycle, a slow one, a journey worth going on. Dumber is an intentional act, a selfish trade for mass. It requires us to hold something back, to avoid creating any discomfort, to fail to teach. Dumber always works in the short run, but not in the long run. Don't confuse dumber with simpler. Simpler removes the unnecessary and creates a better outcome as a result. But dumber does little but create noise. Everyone owns a media company now. Even media companies. And with that ownership comes a choice, a choice about the people we serve, the words we use and the change we seek to make. It's only a race to the bottom if we let it be one.         [...]



The express and the local

2017-07-19T04:27:00-04:00

Express trains run less often, make fewer stops, and if they're going where you're going, get you there faster. The local train is, of course, the opposite. Some people hop on the first train that comes. A local in the...

Express trains run less often, make fewer stops, and if they're going where you're going, get you there faster.

The local train is, of course, the opposite.

Some people hop on the first train that comes. A local in the hand is worth the extra time, they say, because you're never quite sure when the express is going to get there.

On the other hand, there's a cost to investing in the thing that pays off in the long run.

Now that you see that, you're probably going to notice it in 100 areas of your life.

The local requires less commitment, feels less risky, doesn't demand a point of view. The express, on the other hand, always looks like a better idea after you've embraced it and gotten to where you meant to go.

Express or local?

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Gaztelugatxe

2017-07-18T07:29:29-04:00

There's an island off the coast of Spain that houses a church. The church has 230 steps to the top, and it's said that it's worth the climb. What a great expression. Gaztelugatxe can now mean, "it's a lot of...

There's an island off the coast of Spain that houses a church. The church has 230 steps to the top, and it's said that it's worth the climb.

What a great expression. Gaztelugatxe can now mean, "it's a lot of effort, but worth it."

The opposite of fast and easy but worthless.

(Click for the pronunciation of this Basque word...)

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