Subscribe: Seth's Blog
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/atom.xml
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade A rated
Language: English
Tags:
addiction  care  change  culture  great  much cost  people  science  sloppy science  sloppy  someone  town cities  turns  work  year 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
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: 2017-08-17T03:03:00-04:00

 



"I have fear"

2017-08-17T03:03:00-04:00

There's a common mistranslation that causes us trouble. We say, "I am afraid," as if the fear is us, forever. We don't say, "I am a fever" or "I am a sore foot." No, in those cases, we acknowledge that...

There's a common mistranslation that causes us trouble.

We say, "I am afraid," as if the fear is us, forever. We don't say, "I am a fever" or "I am a sore foot." No, in those cases, we acknowledge that it's a temporary condition, something we have, at least for now, but won't have forever.

"Right now, I have fear about launching this project," is quite different from, "I'm afraid."

(image)



On being discovered

2017-08-16T03:48:00-04:00

Wouldn't that be great? Great if you could share all your wisdom on a popular podcast, or be featured on Shark Tank? Great if you had a powerful agent or bureau or publisher? Great if you could get admitted to...        Wouldn't that be great? Great if you could share all your wisdom on a popular podcast, or be featured on Shark Tank? Great if you had a powerful agent or bureau or publisher? Great if you could get admitted to an internship program that would lead to a well-attended gig on the main stage? Great if the CEO figured out just how committed you are and invited you to her office? The thing about being discovered is that in addition to being fabulous, it's incredibly rare. Because few people have the time or energy to go hunting for something that might not be there. The alternative? To be sought out. Instead of hoping that people will find you, the alternative is to become the sort of person these people will go looking for. This is difficult, of course, because it means you have to create work that might not work. That you have to lean out of the boat and invest in making something that's remarkable. That you have to be generous when you feel like being selfish. Difficult because there's no red carpet, no due dates and no manual. But that's okay, because your work is worth it.   [Upcoming speaking gigs, many in Boston, all different: Philadelphia August 24, Boston September 14 with Zoominfo, then the Business of Software Conference on September 18th, then with Marketo in Boston on October 3rd. Moving on with Marketo to Chicago on October 4 and then with Brandemonium in Cincinnati on October 12. Finishing in NY on November 1.] PS Adam Price has a new book out this month. He's Not Lazy is the kind of book that can dramatically transform a relationship for the better, changing lives for the long run. If you have teenagers, I hope you'll get a copy.          [...]



Sloppy science

2017-08-13T19:03:10-04:00

We can measure it. For decades, every single year, scientists have visited the Galapagos and measured the beaks of a particular species of finch. And year after year, with each generation, the beaks change, exactly as we'd expect from the...        We can measure it. For decades, every single year, scientists have visited the Galapagos and measured the beaks of a particular species of finch. And year after year, with each generation, the beaks change, exactly as we'd expect from the weather patterns of the year before. Evolutionary biology works, and rigorous data collection backs it up. For hundreds of years, though, science has gotten it wrong about gender, race and ethnicity. Eugenics and its brethren sound simple, but often lead to tragic outcomes. The sloppy scientist says, "on average, across populations, left to its own devices, this group is [not as skilled] [neurotic] [hard to work with] [not as smart] [not as strong] [slower]" etc. They make assumptions without sufficient data, and the rigor is missing. The first problem is that human beings aren't averages, they're individuals. And the bigger problem is that we're never left to our own devices. We are creatures of culture. The math that we can do on populations of hedgehogs or pigeons doesn't apply to people, because people build and change and experience culture differently than any other species. Your DNA is virtually identical to that of the hordes that accompanied Ghengis Khan, as well as most Cro-Magnon cavemen--pass one on the street and you wouldn't be able to tell that he's different from you. The reason you don't act the way they did is completely the result of culture, not genes. It's culture that pushes us to level up, to dig deeper, to do things that we might not otherwise do. It's culture that finds and encourages and pushes people to become better versions of themselves than anyone else expected to find. So it was sloppy/lazy/fearful science that said that women couldn't handle being doctors. And it was sloppy science that worked to limit the number of Asian or Jewish students at various institutions. And it's sloppy science that's been used against black people for hundreds of years. And sloppy science said that a 4 minute mile was impossible and that a woman could never finish a marathon. Sloppy because it doesn't include all the relevant factors. There's nothing wrong with the scientific method, but everything is wrong with using it poorly (and often intentionally). What we need are caring human beings who will choose to change the culture for the better. Not all of it, of course. Merely the culture they can touch. The people they can engage with. The human beings they can look in the eye, offer to help, offer encouragement and offer a hand up. Once we reset the standard, it becomes the new normal, and suddenly, the sloppy science seems like phrenology. Because culture is up to us. Sloppy science isn't science at all. It's the lazy or wrongheaded use of the scientific method part of the time, mixing in fear for good measure. Ignoring culture ignores the part that truly matters. It's tempting to judge people by their DNA. It makes a lot more sense, though, to see people based on what they can contribute instead.         [...]



"But we needed the eggs"

2017-08-14T03:39:00-04:00

Addiction to substances has been around ever since someone fermented grapes a million years ago. The opioid epidemic is the latest addiction tragedy, brought on by greed and disinformation. It took longer for behavioral addictions to arrive, but they're just...        Addiction to substances has been around ever since someone fermented grapes a million years ago. The opioid epidemic is the latest addiction tragedy, brought on by greed and disinformation. It took longer for behavioral addictions to arrive, but they're just as real. The ASAM defines it: Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response.  The thing is that we treat behavioral addictions differently because sometimes they're seen as a useful, profitable contribution. We've gotten better, much better, at creating interactions and substances that are addictive. They get built and marketed because they're profitable, but the creators of these systems don't want to take responsibility for the impact they have on people. Behavior addiction is real, it's chronic and you might be suffering from it. Get addicted to the rush at work, or to the endless flow of the online world, and your life changes. Attention spans go down, patience decreases, essential tasks are left undone, and most of all, our humanity starts to fade away. Just because it appears productive, just because you bought it in a store or got promoted for it at work doesn't mean it's not addictive and worth managing. Even if you need the eggs.         [...]



Questions for the underinformed

2017-08-13T03:41:00-04:00

For the jingoistic sign carrier, the impatient shareholder, the late-night goofball and the nascent entrepreneur in search of cash... We've heard your rants, your threats, your plans. We understand that you are in a hurry for a simple, dramatic, obvious...

For the jingoistic sign carrier, the impatient shareholder, the late-night goofball and the nascent entrepreneur in search of cash...

We've heard your rants, your threats, your plans. We understand that you are in a hurry for a simple, dramatic, obvious solution to whatever problem you face. 

"And then what happens?"

"Has this ever worked before?"

"How is this different (or the same) from those times?"

"What will you do when it doesn't work the way you hoped?"

Innovation is essential, but innovation isn't lazy. It takes insight and patience and experience to bring a new solution to an old problem.

Impatience is not a strategy.

Experience isn't free, but it's valuable.

And history doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.

(image)



Waves are free

2017-08-12T04:12:00-04:00

When someone lets you into the flow of traffic, or holds a door, or takes a second to acknowledge you, it's possible to smile and offer a wave in response. This, of course, costs you nothing. It creates a feeling...

When someone lets you into the flow of traffic, or holds a door, or takes a second to acknowledge you, it's possible to smile and offer a wave in response.

This, of course, costs you nothing.

It creates a feeling of connection, which is valuable.

It makes it more likely that people will treat someone else well in the future.

And it might just brighten your day.

The simplest antidote to a tough day is generosity. Waves are free, and smiles are an irresistible bonus.

(image)



An audience of one

2017-08-11T04:12:00-04:00

More than ever, people, lots of people, hordes of anonymous people, can watch what you do. They can see your photos, like your posts, friend your digital avatar. An essentially infinite collection of strangers are in the audience, scoring you,...

More than ever, people, lots of people, hordes of anonymous people, can watch what you do.

They can see your photos, like your posts, friend your digital avatar.

An essentially infinite collection of strangers are in the audience, scoring you, ranking you, deciding whether or not you're succeeding.

If you let them.

The alternative is to focus on the audience you care about, interacting with the person who matters to you. Your audience, your choice. One person, ten people, the people who need you.

Everyone else is merely a bystander. 

(image)



Seeing and believing

2017-08-10T04:51:00-04:00

It turns out that the more you watch TV, the more you believe that the world is dangerous. It turns out TV watchers believe that an astonishing 5% (!) of the population works in law enforcement. And it turns out...        It turns out that the more you watch TV, the more you believe that the world is dangerous. It turns out TV watchers believe that an astonishing 5% (!) of the population works in law enforcement. And it turns out that the more you watch TV the less optimistic you become. Cultivation theory helps us understand the enormous power that TV immersion has. Given the overwhelming power of interaction, I'm confident that we'll discover that internet exposure, particularly to linkbait headlines, comments and invective, will also change what people believe about the world around them. It's hopeful to imagine that we can change these outcomes by changing the inputs. Of course, the hard part is choosing to do so. Every time I see a toddler in a stroller with an internet device in hand, I shudder. If we want a better future, it helps to be able to see the world as it is.         [...]



Appearing to care

2017-08-09T04:20:00-04:00

We know that your customers will put up with imperfect, but one thing that they'd like in return is for you to care. Marketers keep making big promises, and organizations struggle to keep those promises. Sooner or later, it leads...        We know that your customers will put up with imperfect, but one thing that they'd like in return is for you to care. Marketers keep making big promises, and organizations struggle to keep those promises. Sooner or later, it leads to a situation where the broken promise arrives on the customer's lap. In that moment, what the customer wants most is someone to care. Almost as good: an organization that consistently acts like it cares. It's a mistake to believe that you actually have to care the way the customer cares, and that anything less means you shouldn't even try. In fact, professionals do emotional labor all the time. They present the best version of their professional self they are capable of. When Bette Midler shows up on stage in Hello Dolly, the audience would like to believe that she's as engaged and excited as she was on opening night. And she might be. Or not. What matters is that we can't tell. If you care, that's great. If you don't, at least right now, well, it's your job. That's the hard part. Acting as if, doing it with effort and consistency, is what your customers need from you.         [...]



Bought

2017-08-08T03:47:00-04:00

How much does it cost you in tolls to drive across town? In most cities, the answer is nothing. How much does it cost you to take a bus or subway across town? In most cities, if it's available at...        How much does it cost you in tolls to drive across town? In most cities, the answer is nothing. How much does it cost you to take a bus or subway across town? In most cities, if it's available at all, quite a bit. How did that come to be? Mass transit is safer, cleaner and more efficient. It gives more people more access to work and amenities. A city with great mass transit works better for more people. Even those that don't use it. It's at least a useful public good as the streets are. It's technically easy to put tolls all over a city, wastes no time, and it's economically efficient to make it incrementally free to hop on a bus and expensive to drive a car. So why haven't we? Why, in fact, are we going the other direction? Because left to our own devices, we go for the short-term cost savings at the expense of the long-term investment. Because we like the status quo. Because there's familiar profit in the car-industrial complex. The extraction industries, the manufacturers, the dealers, etc. It's an ongoing, widespread income stream. This generates cash to pay lobbyists and others to create a cultural dynamic in favor of the status quo. It turns out that it's pretty cheap to buy outcomes that benefit a minority. And business loves a bargain.         [...]