seth godin on spreading ideas

(often wears frames)

  • watched two ted talks by godin, one from 2003, the other 2009
  • seth himself is a good spreader; thoughtful and humourous
  • 2003:
    • we live in a century of idea diffusion
    • tv-industrial model (but see for post-tv)
      1. buy ads
      2. use the ads to interrupt, gaining distribution
      3. use the distribution to sell stuff, gaining profit
      4. use the profit to buy more ads
    • but tv no longer works cuz we’re used to it; we ignore it–the parable of the PURPLE cow
    • copernicus: the world revolves around me
      • me me me me, my favourite person
      • i don’t want to get an e-mail, i want to get a me-mail
    • we have more choices, but we have less time
    • we deal with it by ignoring it
    • unless it’s remarkable
    • marketers used to go for the in the middle of the bell curve, but now cater to the special interests of those at the front of the curve, as seth godin points out, to the early adopters and the innovators, cuz they care, they obsess, they have otaku, they listen cuz it’s about them, and they tell others… a story
    • a few things…
      1. design rules now 
      2. safe is risky 
      3. very good … is bad (boring, unremarkable–that’s seth’s head, btw==>)
    • marketing successes
      1. silk soymilk, which does not have to be refrigerated, sold in the milk section
      2. jeff koons, artist. 40′ dog in central park.
      3. frank gheary, architect. changed an entire city’s economy with just one building
      4. can soap lake, wa., do the same with a giant lava lamp?
  • 2009:
    • each of us wants to permanently change the world
    • how are ideas created and spread?
    • we started with the factory model (but this  requires  infinite growth–ever cheaper labour, ever faster machines), then the tv model (but this requires continual hypnosis–brainwashing–to accept mass marketing), now the leadership model (built on trust–ideas are created by leaders and spread by followers)
    • seth calls this ‘tribes’  but it’s not new–goes back 50,000 years ago
      • then:
        • church
        • work
        • community
      • now:
        • the internet [tech] creating, instead of homogeneity, silos [SIGs].
        • connect [// jv: belong] to others in those silos [tech allows us to reach out to a stranger]
        • you no longer force people with money or hypnosis, you connect
    • a bunch of tribes talking to each other becomes a movement
    • it’s not about mass marketing; it’s about finding the true believers while allowing for
      • diversity
      • innovation
      • finding an existing group with a yearning, not inventing something you don’t want/need; examples:
        • the beatles and teens
        • diane hatz (the meatrix) and vegans
        • jugo chavez and the disaffected venezuelan middle and lower classes
        • bob marley and rastafarians
        • derek sivvers [sp?–cd baby] and independent musicians
      • they are all heretics, questioning the status quo (versus a sheepwalker). today…
        • geraldine carter, climate ride
        • michelle kaufman, environmental architect
    • you must…
      • tell a story
      • connect to a tribe
      • lead a movement
      • make a change
    • 3 questions
      1. who exactly are you upsetting? cuz not upsetting = status quo
      2. who are you connecting? cuz that’s what they’re in it for
      3. who are you leading? cuz people, not mechanics, is where change comes
    • you don’t need permission to lead–people WANT to connect–but here it is: we’re waiting for you to show us where to go next
    • leaders…
      1. challenge the status quo
      2. … build a culture
      3. … have curiosity about people in the tribe, outsiders
      4. connect people (cuz they want to be missed)
      5. … have charisma–you don’t need it to become a leader; it comes with the job
      6. commit, to the cause, to the tribe, to the people

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