Posts Tagged ‘Seth Godin’
Now here’s a pice of advice from Godin.
Here are Orwell’s rules, edited:
1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. You don’t need cliches.
2. Never use a long word where a short one will do. Avoid long words.
3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
4. Never use the passive where you can use the active. Write in the now.
5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. When in doubt, say it clearly.
6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous. Better to be interesting than to follow these rules.
The reason business writing is horrible is that people are afraid.
Afraid to say what they mean, because they might be criticized for it.
Afraid to be misunderstood, to be accused of saying what they didn’t mean, because they might be criticized for it.
Orwell was on the right track. Just say it. Say it clearly. Say it now. Say it without fear of being criticized and say it without being boring.
If the goal is no feedback, then say nothing. Don’t write the memo.
If the goal is to communicate, then say what you mean.
My best tip is this: buy a cheap digital recorder. Say what you want to say, as if the person you seek to persuade is standing there, listening. Then type that up. Simplify. Send.
by Mike Brown
When seeing a music superstar in concert you hope for a greatest hits performance covering their best recordings. You really hope the hits sound something like the original songs. You realize some songs you wanted to hear won’t get played. And nobody’s surprised when the artist beats a hasty retreat for the door at the performance’s conclusion.
Why should it be any different when you see a superstar blogger/author such as Seth Godin? Yet there were grumblings about him simply going over topics straight from his books and questions about why he departed so quickly from his Business Marketing Association Unleash luncheon keynote last week.
If you ask me, Seth Godin put on a veteran rock star performance.
I’ll admit to thinking Seth Godin is a lot better blogger than book author. His blogs are focused and insightful. His books, however, seem like under-edited compilations of blog posts with focus replaced by redundancy. In person, he equaled his blogging performance – a few big ideas, lots of pithy quotes, and stories (both old and modern) to set it all up smartly.
Rather than try and play back all of his remarks, here are paraquotes from six themes Seth Godin touched upon which resonated with me:
Seth Godin admitted he can’t really address what’s next since change is so rapid and dramatic. The best he can do is talk about what’s now. And now, in the digital age, everyone has access to the means of production – a laptop and a high-speed internet connection. While making things was difficult in the past, it’s now relatively easy. The digital revolution has created opportunities which go against our instincts; the act of giving freely is one of them. Ideas that spread are ideas that win.
Your job is not figuring out how to show up one more day at work and still get paid. Your job is to figure out how to use what you do as a platform for art. And what’s art? Art is a human being solving a problem in a way it’s never been solved before.
If you want to reap the rewards of value, realize we give all the value to people who are solving problems in new ways. The second person to solve the problem isn’t getting the value anymore. In solving problems, you have to consider the experience. We pay for the way an experience addresses our needs because there is value in the experience.
There’s a difference between being fearless and reckless. Strong entrepreneurs are calculated and fearless, not reckless. We spend a lot of time building our fears by imagining problems in advance. This happens because of our inner voice which tries to protect us from danger. As soon as you can talk back to your internal voice, you’ll know you’re working on the right things when it (“The Resistance,” as Seth calls it) surfaces. That’s when to keep going.
It’s your job to invent the new product which sells itself. Don’t base your business on your customers not having a lot of knowledge, because they can find things out elsewhere. Competence alone doesn’t cut it either; competence isn’t scarce. If you can write down how to do something, it can be done more cheaply by someone else.
Avoid models that work like bowling, where perfection is the best you can do. In bowling there is no reward or even possibility of over-the-top performance. Instead, find work you can do that’s off the charts.
The goal isn’t to get money from a VC, just as the goal isn’t to get into Harvard. Those are stepping stones, filters that some successful people have made their way through.
If you alter your plans and your approach and your vision in order to grab that imprimatur, understand that it might get in the way of the real point of the exercise, which is to build an organization that makes a difference.
I don’t care so much how much money you raised, or who you raised it from. I care a lot about who your customers are and why (or if) they’re happy.
Groupthink is almost always a sign of trouble, and it’s particularly dangerous when it revolves around what gets funded, and why.
The media tries to report on the world economy or the national economy, or even the economy in Detroit or LA. This is easy to talk about, statistically driven and apparently important to everyone.
Alas, this has virtually nothing to do with your day, your job and your approach to the market. That’s because geography isn’t as important as it used to be, but more than that, it has to do with the fact that you don’t sell to everyone, and the economy is unevenly distributed.
If the unemployment rate in your industry doesn’t match the national numbers, the national numbers don’t matter so much.
At the largest Lexus dealer in New Jersey, they’re sold out of many models, with a waiting list. In some towns in Missouri, the unemployment rate is twice what it is in your town. In the tech industry, the rate you can charge for developing killer social apps on a tablet is high and going up.
Economics used to be stuck in town. Now, as markets and industries transcend location, useful economic stats describe the state of the people you’re working with and selling to.
If your segment is stuck, it might make sense to stick it out. It also might be worth thinking about the cost of moving to a different economy.
Seth Godin: If you’re reading this blog, then the world didn’t end, at least in my time zone.
How does one market the end of the world? After all, you don’t have a big ad budget. Your ‘product’ is something that has been marketed again and again through the ages and it has never worked. There’s significant peer pressure not to buy it…
And yet, every time, people succumb. They sell their belongings, stop paying into their kid’s college fund and create tension and despair.
Here’s the simple lesson:
Sell a story that some people want to believe. In fact, sell a story they already believe.
The story has to be integrated into your product. The iPad, for example, wasn’t something that people were clamoring for… but the story of it, the magic tablet, the universal book, the ticket to the fashion-geek tribe–there was a line out the door for that. The same way that every year, we see a new music sensation, a new fashion superstar. That’s not an accident. That story is just waiting for someone to wear it.
And the some part is vital. Not everyone wants to believe in the end of the world, but some people (fortunately, just a few) really do. To reach them, you don’t need much of a hard sell at all.
Too often marketers take a product and try to invent a campaign. Much more effective is to find a tribe, find a story and make a product that resonates, one that makes the story work.
That’s the whole thing. A story that resonates and a tribe that’s tight and small and eager.
I hope you can dream up something more productive than the end of the world, though.
What is a public library for?
First, how we got here:
Before Gutenberg, a book cost about as much as a small house. As a result, only kings and bishops could afford to own a book of their own.
This naturally led to the creation of shared books, of libraries where scholars (everyone else was too busy not starving) could come to read books that they didn’t have to own. The library as warehouse for books worth sharing.
Only after that did we invent the librarian.
The librarian isn’t a clerk who happens to work at a library. A librarian is a data hound, a guide, a sherpa and a teacher. The librarian is the interface between reams of data and the untrained but motivated user.
After Gutenberg, books got a lot cheaper. More individuals built their own collections. At the same time, though, the number of titles exploded, and the demand for libraries did as well. We definitely needed a warehouse to store all this bounty, and more than ever we needed a librarian to help us find what we needed. The library is a house for the librarian.
Industrialists (particularly Andrew Carnegie) funded the modern American library. The idea was that in a pre-electronic media age, the working man needed to be both entertained and slightly educated. Work all day and become a more civilized member of society by reading at night.
Seth’s marketing to nobody: ever seen Dutch power seller Nuon with its recent campaign ‘NOBODY”?
This is Seth’s post:
Marketing to nobody
Nobody wears a watch any more.
Nobody wears a tie either.
Nobody shops at a bookstore, at least nobody I know.
The market of nobody is big indeed. You can do really well selling to nobody if you do your homework. In fact, most companies selling to nobody outperform those that are trying to sell to everyone.