I Finally Get Seth Godin – Eating The Meatball Sundae

March 24, 2008 at 6:04 am | Posted in Books, Communication, General, Godin, Seth - Meatball Sundae, Heath, Chip and Dan - Made To Stick, Marketing, Online marketing, Web 2.0 | 1 Comment
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I admit I used to poo-poo Seth Godin. In my business, that’s akin to snubbing Jesus. But I never understood why so many marketers loved his writing. I’d read Seth’s blog, caught himgodin.jpg on several podcasts, and read his articles, but I didn’t get him until today.

My problem with Godin was the fact that everything he said sounded like common sense. “You need to learn the new marketing before applying it to a business.” DUH. “Your business might not be right for the new marketing.” SNORE.

Sure, Godin is full of common sense about marketing – he should be! But it didn’t seem that useful to me. (Not that I’m a genius, but I felt his suggestions were awfully apparent if you just paid attention.)

Here’s what I didn’t understand

What I didn’t understand about Seth Godin is the sheer scope of his common sense-iness. Everything that comes out of his mouth is good marketing advice and after listening to his new audiobook Meatball Sundae, I understand that this long form is the way for me to appreciate his work. You see, listening to so much good (common sense) advice illuminates how much crap advice marketers hear every day.

Godin is able to not only create lists of handy ideas, but he’s able to simplify how we do things and why. The real-life stories he tell serve to give a concreteness to his work, like little voices saying, “I told you so.”

Should you read it? It depends.

However, for as good as Godin is, I cannot say that I’d recommend this book or his other work to everyone. His stuff is must-read for marketers, period. But I honestly don’t think individuals in other professions would get anywhere near as much from his books. I just don’t think it translates as well as other marketing-type books.

I recommend books like Made to Stick because readers in all fields will garner something from that information, be they fire-fighters, stock brokers, or professors (I’m lookin’ at you, MMB). While I think non-marketers will be entertained by Godin’s wit and stories, I don’t think they will end up using his advice in their daily lives. And the point of this blog is to emphasize marketing and marketing tactics for ordinary folks.

Sorry Seth, I can’t give it a 100% recommendation. But I’m sure you’ll understand. It’s just common sense.


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  1. Godin is curious because he often presents fairly bold ideas (contrarian frequently) in a mellow, simplistic way. The approach is so low key and simple that the compelling-ness gets lost. Other times the simplicity seems elegant and enthusiasm stirs. Curious..

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