Seth Godin A tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea. For millions of years, humans have been seeking out tribes, be they religious, ethnic, economic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads). It's our nature. Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. All those blogs and social networking sites are helping existing tribes get bigger. But more important, they're enabling countless new tribes to be born - groups of ten or ten thousand or ten million who care about their iPhones, or a political campaign, or a new way to fight global warming.
And so the key question: Who is going to lead us?
The Web can do amazing things, but it can't provide leadership. That still has to come from individuals - people just like you who have a passion about something. The explosion in tribes means that anyone who wants to make a difference now has the tools at her fingertips.
If you think leadership is for other people, think again - leaders come in surprising packages. Consider Joel Spolsky and his international tribe of scary-smart software engineers. Or Gary Vaynerhuck, a wine expert with a devoted following of enthusiasts. Chris Sharma leads a tribe of rock climbers up impossible cliff faces, while Mich Mathews, a VP at Microsoft, runs her internal tribe of marketers from her cube in Seattle. All they have in common is the desire to change things, the ability to connect a tribe, and the willingness to lead.
If you ignore this opportunity, you risk turning into a "sheepwalker" - someone who fights to protect the status quo at all costs, never asking if obedience is doing you (or your organization) any good. Sheepwalkers don't do very well these days.
Tribes will make you think (really think) about the opportunities in leading your fellow employees, customers, investors, believers, hobbyists, or readers....It's not easy, but it's easier than you think.
Seth Godin You're either a Purple Cow or you're not. You're either remarkable or invisible. Make your choice. What do Starbucks and JetBlue and KrispyKreme and Apple and DutchBoy and Kensington and Zespri and Hard Candy have that you don't? How do they continue to confound critics and achieve spectacular growth, leaving behind former tried-and true brands to gasp their last? Face it, the checklist of tired P's marketers have used for decades to get their product noticed - Pricing, Promotion, Publicity, to name a few -aren't working anymore. There's an exceptionally important P that has to be added to the list. It's Purple Cow. Cows, after you've seen one, or two, or 10, are boring. A Purple Cow, though...now that would be something.
Purple Cow describes something phenomenal, something counterintuitive and exciting and flat-out unbelievable. Every day, consumers come face to face with a lot of boring stuff - a lot of brown cows - but you can bet they won't forget a Purple Cow. And it's not a marketing function that you can slap on to your product or service. Purple Cow is inherent. It's built right in, or it's not there. Period.
In Purple Cow, Seth Godin urges you to put a Purple Cow into everything you build, and everything you do, to create something truly noticeable. It's a manifesto for marketers.
Seth Godin There used to be two teams in every workplace: management and labor. Now there’s a third team, the linchpins. These people invent, lead (regardless of title), connect others, make things happen, and create order out of chaos. They figure out what to do when there’s no rule book. They delight and challenge their customers and peers. They love their work, pour their best selves into it, and turn each day into a kind of art.
Linchpins are the essential building blocks of great organizations. Like the small piece of hardware that keeps a wheel from falling off its axle, they may not be famous but they’re indispensable. And in today’s world, they get the best jobs and the most freedom. Have you ever found a shortcut that others missed? Seen a new way to resolve a conflict? Made a connection with someone others couldn’t reach? Even once? Then you have what it takes to become indispensable, by overcoming the resistance that holds people back.
As Godin writes, “Every day I meet people who have so much to give but have been bullied enough or frightened enough to hold it back. It’s time to stop complying with the system and draw your own map. You have brilliance in you, your contribution is essential, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do it, and you must.”
Seth Godin We send our kids to school and obsess about their test scores, their behavior, and their ability to fit in. We post a help-wanted ad and look for experience, famous colleges, and a history of avoiding failure. We invest in companies based on how they did last quarter, not on what they’re going to do tomorrow. So why are we surprised when it all falls apart?
Our economy is not static, but we act as if it is. Your position in the world is defined by what you instigate, how you provoke, and what you learn from the events you cause. In a world filled with change, that’s what matters - your ability to create and learn from change.
Poke the Box is a manifesto about producing something that’s scarce, and thus valuable. It demands that you stop waiting for a road map and start drawing one instead. You know how to do this, you’ve done it before, but along the way, someone talked you out of it. We need your insight and your dreams and your contributions. Hurry.
Seth Godin There used to be two teams in every workplace: management and labor. Now there's a third team: the linchpins. These people invent, lead (regardless of title), connect others, make things happen, and create order out of chaos. They figure out what to do when there's no rule book. They delight and challenge their customers and peers. They love their work, pour their best selves into it, and turn each day into a kind of art.
Linchpins are the essential building blocks of great organizations. Like the small piece of hardware that keeps a wheel from falling off its axle, they may not be famous, but they're indispensable. And in today's world, they get the best jobs and the most freedom. Have you ever found a shortcut that others missed? Seen a new way to resolve a conflict? Made a connection with someone others couldn't reach? Even once? Then you have what it takes to become indispensable, by overcoming the resistance that holds people back.
As Godin writes, "Every day I meet people who have so much to give but have been bullied enough or frightened enough to hold it back. It's time to stop complying with the system and draw your own map. You have brilliance in you, your contribution is essential, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do it, and you must."
The old rules: Play it safe. Stay in your comfort zone. Find an institution, a job, a set of rules to stick to. Keep your head down. Don't fly too close to the sun.
The new truth: It's better to be sorry than safe. You need to fly higher than ever.
In his bravest and most challenging book yet, Seth Godin shows how we can thrive in an economy that rewards art, not compliance. He explains why true innovators focus on trust, remarkability, leadership, and stories that spread. And he makes a passionate argument for why you should be treating your work as art.
Art is not a gene or a specific talent. It's an attitude, available to anyone who has a vision that others don't, and the guts to do something about it. Steve Jobs was an artist. So were Henry Ford and Martin Luther King, Jr. To work like an artist means investing in the things that scale: creativity, emotional labor, and grit. The path of the artist isn't for the faint of heart - but Godin shows why it's your only chance to stand up, stand out, and make a difference.
The time to seize new ground and work without a map is now. So what are you going to do?
Seth Godin Every marketer tells a story. And if they do it right, we believe them. We believe that wine tastes better in a $20 glass than a $1 glass. We believe that an $80,000 Porsche Cayenne is vastly superior to a $36,000 VW Touareg, which is virtually the same car. We believe that $225 Pumas will make our feet feel better, and look cooler, than $20 no-names...and believing it makes it true. Successful marketers don't talk about features or even benefits. Instead, they tell a story. A story we want to believe.
This is a book about doing what consumers demand; painting vivid pictures that they choose to believe. Every organization, from nonprofits to car companies, from political campaigns to wineglass blowers, must understand that the rules have changed (again). In an economy where the richest have an infinite number of choices (and no time to make them), every organization is a marketer and all marketing is about telling stories.
Marketers succeed when they tell us a story that fits our worldview, a story that we intuitively embrace and then share with our friends. Think of the Dyson vacuum cleaner or the iPod.
But beware: If your stories are inauthentic, you cross the line from fib to fraud. Marketers fail when they are selfish and scurrilous, when they abuse the tools of their trade and make the world worse. That's a lesson learned the hard way by telemarketers and Marlboro.
This is a powerful book for anyone who wants to create things people truly want as opposed to commodities that people merely need.
Seth Godin The man Business Week calls "the ultimate entrepreneur for the information age" explains "Permission Marketing" - the groundbreaking concept that enables marketers to shape their message so that consumers will willingly accept it. Does every single marketing effort you create encourage a learning relationship with your customers? Does it invite customers to "raise their hands" and start communicating? Do you have a permission database? Do you track the number of people who have given you permission to communicate with them? If consumers gave you permission to talk to them would you have anything to say? Have you developed a marketing curriculum to teach people about your products? Instead of annoying potential customers by interrupting their most coveted commodity - time - Permission Marketing offers consumers incentives to accept advertising voluntarily. Godin demonstrates how marketers are already profiting from this key new approach in all forms of media.
You're probably good at your job, maybe even great. But secretly, do you yearn to fly higher? To challenge the rules and surprise us with something remarkable? To instigate delight, connection, and real change? To choose better over safer?
Business and cultural visionary Seth Godin has transformed the terrain of marketing and commerce more than once. But many of his readers remain stuck in their own work lives. So what's keeping us back? "The problem isn't a lack of knowledge or skill," he's realized. "The problem is fear." With Leap First, Seth Godin is here to help. This immersive audio program invites us to learn with him personally, unrehearsed and in the moment, as he shines a light for us, not with answers but with questions on the road to: Overcoming our instinctual resistance to risk and change Discovering our creative genius in the face of the empty page or whiteboard Finding the courage to share that work - with vulnerability, generosity, and results Recorded in an intimate gathering of aspiring entrepreneurs, writers, and leaders, Leap First teaches us 49 essential principles, practices, and life lessons that have helped Seth the most in his own work and life. More than an audiobook or keynote speech, each track here presents a carefully chosen catalyst intended to trigger our own passion and insight with each listening.
"It always feels too soon to leap. But you have to. Because that's the moment between you and remarkable. I hope this helps you return to that edge. And then, to leap."
Seth Godin We Are All Weird is a celebration of choice, of treating different people differently and of embracing the notion that everyone deserves the dignity and respect that comes from being heard. The book calls for the end of "mass" and for the beginning of offering people more choices, more interests, and giving them more authority to operate in ways that reflect their own unique values.
For generations, marketers, industrialists, and politicians have tried to force us into little boxes, complying with their idea of what we should buy, use, or want. And in an industrial, mass-market driven world, this was efficient and it worked. But what we've learned in this new era is that mass limits our choice, because it succeeds through conformity. As Godin has identified, a new era of weirdness is upon us. People with more choices, more interests, and the power to do something about it are stepping forward and insisting that the world work in a different way. By enabling choice, we allow people to survive and thrive.