Seth Godin Live – Part 1

For those not familiar with Seth Godin, he’s an American entrepreneur, author and public speaker. Godin’s ideas on innovation, excellence, and marketing have strong implications whether you are a business leader, church leader, or simply a”cog in the wheel” as an employee somewhere. I highly recommend his book, Linchpin, as a resource for thinking, leading and creating in a passionate, connected way.

On Friday I was able to go to Seth Godin’s all day event in Atlanta and wanted to share some of the insights.  I don’t think I could sufficiently explain how brilliant he is, but here are some of my live notes from the event.  Most of this is close to verbatim, but I did create headings to group ideas and occasionally had to summarize.  My own thoughts are in italics:

One Revolution is Over, Another Begins
The industrial revolution is ending on our watch.  It used to be about organization, systemization, efficiency and mass production. The shift is a good one, and it’s about creating innovative, insightful, and generous work.

The music industry is a great example.  There has never been a better time to be a musician if your goal is to be heard. But not if your goal is to be a middle man who makes money on the music.

Grateful Dead is a great example of being way ahead of their time… “Free music, join the party.” We have arrived at the destination they reached back in the 60’s.

The Factory Mindset
We are moving away from a factory mindset, but our many of our schools still train kids for it.  It’s about mass production, interchangeable parts, and org charts (so that you are replaceable).  This is all a product of the industrial revolution, and that revolution is dying.

Think about our schools.  We train kids to
1. fit in and give all the right answers
2. Buy stuff (so that they can fit in)

Should we just lower our prices in order to win?  That’s a factory mindset, where you figure out the cheapest ways to produce something, then sell cheaper than anyone else.  Art, excellence, innovation, and generosity are all lost in that process.

If you announce that we should buy you because you are cheap, you lose. It’s not a race to the bottom anymore unless you are Walmart. Do you really want to race WalMart to the bottom? You won’t beat them.

Think about this in terms of churches who want to get more people in the door. It’s almost a mass production approach. Big events, drawing large crowds, hoping a certain percentage will stick around (regardless of whether we are prepared to really connect with them). Does it not give you the shivers when a church does a drawing for $5000 as a way to get people to come? Yes, that stuff really happens.

Connection and Collaboration are the Assets Now
When it’s connection that matters, why are you trying to sell based on scarcity and having information others don’t have?

Again, in context of the church, think about our message. Which should be our approach? “We have the correct doctrine on God, and we can out-argue those pesky atheists.” OR “You are lost without connection to God and others. You can find that here.”

The asset is connection! Not a great website or a great price or stuff.  Anyone can create a product!

Don’t just create the cheapest baby crib.  Seth’s dad’s company created an expensive crib that saved lives in hospitals.  How did they sell that? Not with specs, but by saying, “I need to tell you about a crib that is saving kid’s lives.”

After basic needs are met, people are looking for meaning.


Didn’t want this to be too long, so I will post the rest in Part 2.  I know you’ll be watching for it.

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