Seth Godin

When Seth Godin, a famous marketing guy, joined Yahoo in 1998 when Yahoo! bought his company, he was just another new guy to me, so I didn't make any special effort to chat with him when I'd see him around the office. I ran into his blog today, and now I regret not engaging him in conversation when I had the chance, 'cause he seems to be quite a clueful guy.

Here's how one of his recent posts begins:

There are two ways to catch a plane. The first, which happens to be the most common, is to leave on time, do your best to park nearby, repeatedly glance at your watch, and then start moving faster and faster. By the time you get to security, you realize that you're quite late, so you cut the line (“My plane leaves in 10 minutes!” you shout). You walk fast. As you get closer to your gate, you realize that walking fast isn't going to work, so you start to jog. Three gates away, you break into a run, and if you're lucky, you barely make the flight.

The second way is to leave for the airport 10 minutes early.

His post then continues to make pithy analysis of why human nature can tend to lead us to doing things we'd rather not do, despite there being a relatively easy way to avoid it. He says, for example:

The easiest thing to do is to allow the urgency of the situation to force us to make the decisions (or take the actions) that we'd rather not take. Why? Because then we don't have to take responsibility for what happens.

I found the whole thing quite interesting.

He's also got a blog relating to his most recent book, “All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World”. If you like the inside-back cover of Consumer Reports, you'll love this blog, as it's along the same general lines, but with some intellectual insight.

All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

I was lucky enough to work closely with Seth during his brief tenure at Yahoo! I can vouch for the fact that he is definitely a brilliant marketing mind. Seth has this knack for packaging up complex marketing practices into something that is surprisingly simple to understand. I definitely learned a lot when I worked with him.

— comment by Stanley Wong on August 30th, 2005 at 2:00am JST (18 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

I was aware of him when I was there, and even asked Phu if we could
invite him to one of our engineering technical forums (as a marketing
voice, of course). It didn’t work out (I forget if Phu didn’t end up inviting him,
or we did invite him and he didn’t make it). I agree he is a veryinteresting
guy. I don’t agree with is decision to disable comments on his blog
though, even though I read his post expaining why.


— comment by Shawn Purcell on May 31st, 2007 at 8:00am JST (16 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink
Leave a comment...

All comments are invisible to others until Jeffrey approves them.

Please mention what part of the world you're writing from, if you don't mind. It's always interesting to see where people are visiting from.

IMPORTANT:I'm mostly retired, so I don't check comments often anymore, sorry.

You can use basic HTML; be sure to close tags properly.

Subscribe without commenting