Seth Godin is so far in the present and future that he believes the culture is shifted as opposed to shifting. There is an important continuum and constant transition over time. There are still Americans who are dallying in the 19th century. Most are still cogs, jealously wanting to still be cogs, and very few — maybe a fraction — are the “players of ideas,” the “makers of things,” the “artists of their lives.” Seth Godin is both a modernist but also mostly (still) a futurist. I may well live in his future, but most do not, they still want Rolls Royces and Persian Rugs as signifiers to define who we are to others. They do address this, though, on the On Being podcast.
If all you’re trying to do is move forward with your vision and passion to reach a goal, you’ll never get anywhere if you back down or reconsider your behavior every time someone calls you arrogant.
This is a fear and a paradox of doing work that’s important.
A fear because so many of us are raised to avoid appearing arrogant. Being called arrogant is a terrible slur, it means that you’re not only a failure, but a poser as well.
It’s a paradox, though, because the confidence and attitude that goes with bringing a new idea into the world (“hey, listen to this,”) is a hair’s breadth away, or at least sometimes it feels that way, from being arrogant.
And so we keep our head down. Better, they say, to be invisible and non-contributing than risk being arrogant.
That feels like a selfish, cowardly cop out to me. Better, I think, to make a difference and run the risk of failing sometimes, of being made fun of, and yes, appearing arrogant. It’s far better than the alternative.
Are you called arrogant? Do you call people you know arrogant? Why? What defines arrogance to you?
To be honest, the only way to truly move forward and achieve what you want in the world is to keep your eye on the prize and don’t let fear — or the manipulative and diminishing comments of others — to keep you from your mission.
Most of the time, even people who love you just aren’t comfortable with the changes in you — or fear losing you or being left behind.
Why are advertisers so darn sneaky these days? Seth Godin surely wants to know in his recent post It’s no wonder they don’t trust us. Advertisers seem to constantly trying to hoodwink us into missing a radio button or check box that will result in a new browser toolbar or membership in an opt-out email list.
It isn’t nefarious, though, it is just the result of lots and lots of marketers trying out new tactics to see what works, and apparently sneaky does work — for now. That said, it is building up a lot hostility from us, the users.
What works is what people are doing on radio, especially AM radio, which is to make the sponsors, advertisers, and ads 1) completely relevant to the programming and what the listener (and the host) would want and 2) let the listener know that this quality programming is available (for free) because of the corporate underwriters.
Seth Godin is a rockstar. Again I say it. While my friends are amused and frustrated by my constant obsession with “maximizing monetization,” I am an amateur compared to most firms and sites that are constantly “bundling” up browser tool bars and opt-out email lists and anti-virus software and pop-ups and pop-unders — even when installing a new PC, as Godin experienced and shares with us in It’s no wonder they don’t trust us.
The digital world, even the high end brands, has become a sleazy carnival, complete with hawkers, barkers and a bearded lady. By the time someone actually gets to your site, they’ve been conned, popped up, popped under and upsold so many times they really have no choice but to be skeptical.
Every since advertising embraced “psychology” in the 50s and 60s, they entire industry just assumed we hated ads — we never hated ads, we hate ad men. Anyway, with advertising psychology and neural linguistic programming (NLP) there was a sudden focus on the subconscious and our lack of ever-vigilance.
I am a huge fan of radio shows of the 30s and 40s — they’re all straight shooters. The only reason why people are no longer impressed is twofold: they seemed to be always promoting cigarettes and because we consider ourselves more modern and sophisticated — and these old corporate-sponsored variety shows just seem too unsophisticated.
Well, I think people could use a little straight-shooting in 2010 and I am hoping that advertising and financial under-writing and advertising and bundling becomes more transparent, more opt-in, and more clear as to why all of this monetization indeeds need to be done — and the answer is generally, “so that we can make this less expensive — or free — for you, the user,” which I think is a fair-enough reason.
I am always amazed by Seth Godin. He bats a thousand, that’s for sure. Mark Harrison, my CEO, and I are going nuts over Seth’s post this AM, The reason social media is so difficult for most organizations. Indeed, the reason social media is so difficult for most organizations is that social media is at first an event companies can easily buy into and handily resource; however, after launch, social media is a lifetime process, like remaining healthy, and are much harder for bean counters to rationalize and fully fund without being able to compartmentalize and turn it into a line-item for the yearly budget approval.
It’s a process, not an event.
Dating is a process. So is losing weight, being a public company and building a brand.
On the other hand, putting up a trade show booth is an event. So are going public and having surgery.
Events are easier to manage, pay for and get excited about. Processes build results for the long haul.
Here here to Seth Godin and here here to the long game and to educating the social media space that social media is much more than buying a web site.
After years, I think I am becoming a fan of Seth Godin. In just a couple days, I have felt compelled to post his words, first on the topic of trolls and now on the topic of lethal generosity — being lethally generous as opposed to being grudgingly generous, Begrudging:
I don’t know if this happens to you, but I’m noticing it more and more. Someone offers you a refund, or agrees to sell you something or even hires you to do a project, but then spend a lot of time explaining that it’s a one time thing, or that it’s against policy or it’s not even something they like to do.
What’s the point of agreeing to anything begrudgingly? Does it get your partner to do his best work? Does it increase the chances that you’ll get to win next time?
If you’re going to do something, do it. Go all in. Doing it half in makes no sense at all to me. It’s a like a store that has so many rules and regulations about sales and exchanges that you wonder if they really want to be bothered to sell you anything at all.