Seth Godin


Seth Godin

Seth Godin (born July 10, 1960) is an American entrepreneur, author and public speaker. Godin popularized the topic of permission marketing. Godin believes that the end of the "TV-Industrial complex" means that marketers no longer have the power to command the attention of anyone they choose, whenever they choose. Second, in a marketplace in which consumers have more power, he thinks marketers must show more respect; this means no spam, no deceit and a bias for keeping promises. Finally, Godin asserts that the only way to spread the word about an idea is for that idea to earn the buzz by being remarkable. Godin refers to those who spread these ideas as "Sneezers", and to the spreading idea as an "IdeaVirus." He calls a remarkable product or service a purple cow.


7 Reasons You Might Fail to Become the Best in the World

What Every Good Marketer Knows

Everyone In an Organization Is Expected To Lead

Five Ways To Be an Unfair Critic


Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

Purple Cow

All Marketers Are Liars

Poke the Box






Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you donít need to escape from.

If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do work that matters, this is it.

You have everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself.

Developing expertise or assets that are not easily copied is essential; otherwise youíre just a middleman.

íGood enoughí stopped being good enough a long time ago. so why not be great?

The good news is that more than ever, value accrues to those that show up, those that make a difference, those that do work that matters.

If you make a difference, people will gravitate to you. They want to engage, to interact and to get you more involved.

Successful people are the ones who are breaking the rules.

You canít shrink your way to your way to greatness!

If you have no wish, how can it possibly come true?

Knowing what to do is very, very different than actually doing it.

Playing safe is very risky.

Go ahead, do something impossible.

Do you believe in what you do? Every day? It turns out that belief happens to be a brilliant strategy.

Change is not a threat, itís an opportunity. Survival is not the goal, transformative success is.

If youíre not proud of where you work, go work somewhere else.

Positive thinking is hard. Worth it, though.

Put aside your need for a step-by-step manual and instead realize that analogies are your best friend.

ÖAcknowledge to yourself that the factory job is dead. Having a factory job is not a natural state. It wasnít at the heart of being human until very recently. Weíve been culturally brainwashed.

When exactly were you brainwashed into believing that the best way to earn a living is to have a job?

Just saying yes because you canít bear the short-term pain of saying no is not going to help you do the work.

Saying no to loud people gives you the resources to say yes to important opportunities.

Once you free yourself from the need for perfect acceptance, itís a lot easier to launch work that matters.

You canít Ė or you donít want to? Iíll accept the second. Itís quite possible that you donít want to. Itís possible that making this commitment is too scary or too much workÖ Perhaps you donít want to because it feels financially irresponsible. I think thatís an error in judgment on your part, since becoming a linchpin is in fact the most financially responsible choice you can make.

Fear for a linchpin is a clue that youíre getting close to doing something important.

The reason they want you to fit inÖ is that once you do, then they can ignore you.

Well, if you donít have time to do it right, what makes you think youíll have time to do it over?

If you could do tomorrow over again, would you?

If thereís time for an emergency, why isnít there time for brilliance, generosity or learning?

Writing a book is a tremendous experience. It pays off intellectually. It clarifies your thinking. It builds credibility. It is a living engine of marketing and idea spreading, working every day to deliver your message with authority. You should write one.

Why waste a sentence saying nothing?

If your organization requires success before commitment, it will never have either.

Itís better to make a decision, even the wrong one, than to be in limbo.

You donít have to settle. Itís a choice you get to make every day.


If youíre not uncomfortable in your work as a leader, itís almost certain youíre not reaching your potential as a leader.

Leadership is scarce because few people are willing to go through the discomfort required to lead.

Itís uncomfortable to challenge the status quo.

You can raise the bar or you can wait for others to raise it, but itís getting raised regardless.

Leadership on the other hand, is about creating change you believe in.

Give up control and give it away Ö The more you give your idea away, the more your company is going to be worth.

As our society gets more complex and our people get more complacent, the role of the jester is more vital than ever before. Please stop sitting around. We need you to make a ruckus.

Heretics are engaged, passionate, and more powerful and happier than everyone else. And they have a tribe that they support (and that supports them in return.)

Great leaders create movements by empowering the tribe to communicate. They establish the foundation for people to make connections, as opposed to commanding people to follow them.

Hope without a strategy doesnít generate leadership. Leadership comes when your hope and your optimism are matched with a concrete vision of the future and a way to get there. People wonít follow you if they donít believe you can get to where you say youíre going.

Our job is to make change. Our job is to connect to people, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them, more able to get where theyíd like to go. Every time we waste that opportunity, every page or sentence that doesnít do enough to advance the cause is waste.

Human beings can't help it: we need to belong. One of the most powerful of our survival mechanisms is to be part of a tribe, to contribute to (and take from) a group of like-minded people. We are drawn to leaders and to their ideas, and we can't resist the rush of belonging and the thrill of the new. ... We want to belong not to just one tribe, it turns out, but to many. And if you give us tools and make it easy, we'll keep joining. Tribes make our lives better. And leading a tribe is the best life of all.

You can be right or you can have empathy. You canít do both.

Make a decision. It doesnít have to be a wise decision or a perfect one. Just make one.

One way to think about running a successful business is to figure out what the least you can do is, and do that.

The easiest thing is to react. The second easiest thing is to respond. But the hardest thing is to initiate. Ė When people ask you to tell them what to do, resist.


No organization ever created an innovation. People innovate, not companies.

Donít try to be the Ďnextí. Instead, try to be the other, the changer, the new.

The scalable, profitable strategy is to change the game, not to become the most average.

Ideas in secret die. They need light and air or they starve to death.

You canít have good ideas unless youíre willing to generate a lot of bad ones.

Thereís no correlation between how good your idea is and how likely your organization will be to embrace it.

Big ideas are little ideas that no-one killed too soon.

Are you a serial idea-starting person? The goal is to be an idea-shipping person.

Fire the committee. No great website in history has been conceived of by more than three people. Not one. This is a deal breaker.

Donít have any meetings about your web strategy. Just do stuff. First you have to fail, then you can improve.

Ideas arenít a sideshow that make our factory a little more valuable. Our factory is a sideshow that makes our ideas a little more valuable!

Market-driven design builds the success of the productís marketing into the product itself.

As an organization grows and succeeds, it sows the seeds of its own demise by getting boring.

Customer Success

People rarely buy what they need. They buy what they want.

Relying too much on proof distracts you from the real mission Ė which is emotional connection.

Everyone is not your customer.

Choose your customers, choose your future.

Your best customers are worth far more than your average customers.

Choose your customers. Fire the ones that hurt your ability to deliver the right story to the others.

If youíre a marketer who doesnít know how to invent, design, influence, adapt, and ultimately discard products, then youíre no longer a marketer. Youíre deadwood.

The best marketing strategy is to destroy your industry before your competition does.

Advertising is just a symptom, a tactic. Marketing is about far more than that.

Low price is a great way to sell a commodity. Thatís not marketing though, thatís efficiency.

The reason it seems that price is all your customers care about is that you havenít given them anything else to care about.

Perhaps marketing is about to transition to a new kind of profession, one that requires insight, dedication and smarts.

Marketing management is now tribal leadership.

If you're remarkable, then it's likely that some people won't like you. That's part of the definition of remarkable. Nobody gets unanimous praise Ė ever. The best the timid can hope for is to be unnoticed. Criticism comes to those who stand out. Playing it safe. Following the rules. They seem like the best ways to avoid failure. Alas, that pattern is awfully dangerous. The current marketing "rules" will ultimately lead to failure. In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is failing. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.

But this is a remarkable egg, an egg worth talking about, an egg worth crossing the street for, an egg worth writing about.

If you canít make money from attention, you should do something else for a living.

Selling to people who actually want to hear from you is more effective than interrupting strangers who donít.

Marketing by interrupting people isnít cost-effective anymore. You canít afford to seek out people and send them unwanted marketing messages, in large groups, and hope that some will send you money. Instead, the future belongs to marketers who establish a foundation and process where interested people can market to each other. Ignite consumer networks and then get out of the way and let them talk.

You can win with consistent benefits, delivered over time. You win by incrementally earning share, attention and trust.

Marketing is the way your people answer the phone, the typesetting on your bills and your return policy.

Donít try to please everyone. There are countless people who donít want one, havenít heard of one or actively hate it. So what?

Once you have permission to talk to someone, finding new products or services for them is a smart way to grow.

The best time to do great customer service is when a customer is upset.

Excellence isnít about meeting the spec, itís about setting the spec. It defines what the consumer sees as quality right this minute, and tomorrow, if youíre good, youíll reset that expectation again...

Winning Customers (Ten3 Mini-course)

Knowing Yourself and Others

People donít believe what you tell them. They rarely believe what you show them. They often believe what their friends tell them. They always believe what they tell themselves.

If religion comprises rules you follow, faith is demonstrated by the actions you take.

You are not your resume, you are your work.

A long walk and calm conversation are an incredible combination if you want to build a bridge.

Expectations are the engines of our perceptions.

We notice what we choose to notice.

íTeamworkí is the word that bosses use when they actually mean ĎDo what I sayí

Most of the time, creative entrepreneurs lose interest long before their marketing message loses its power.

In our desire to please everyone, itís very easy to end up being invisible or mediocre.

Busy does not equal important. Measured doesnít mean mattered.

Itís uncomfortable to resist the urge to settle.

Be with the ones you love (and the ones that love you.) Ignore everyone else.