Seth Godin no

 

Seth Godin, this post IS for you. It’s been a while since, I’ve had a “Seth-urday”, so I thought I would mark Seth’s birthday with a post on a topic he returns to regularly – embracing the failure of unanimity. The adage says “you can please all of the people some of the time,” but Seth would dispute that. And even if you could, you probably wouldn’t want to. Here are some choice post excerpts on this subject…

  • For the one person who didn’t get the joke”: Unanimity is impossible unless you are willing to be invisible. We can be unanimous in our lack of feedback for the invisible one. For everyone else, though, the ability to say, ‘It’s not for you,’ is the foundation for creating something brave and important. You can’t do your best work if you’re always trying to touch the untouchable, or entertain those that refuse to be entertained. ‘It’s not for you.’ This is easy to say and incredibly difficult to do. You don’t have much choice, though, not if you want your work to matter.”
  • Customers who break things”: “2% of your customers don’t get it. They won’t read the instructions, they’ll use the wrong handle, they’ll ignore the warning about using IE6. They will blame you for giving them a virus or will change the recipe even though you ask them not to… If you’re going to be in a mass market business, you have no choice to but to accept that this group exists. And to embrace them. Not to blame them, but to love them. Successful businesses have the resilience to make it easy for them to recover. To make it easy for these people to find you and to blame you and to get the help they need.”
  • The humility of the artist”: “It seems arrogant to say, ‘perhaps this isn’t for you.’ When the critic pans your work, or the prospect hears your offer but doesn’t buy, the artist responds, ‘that’s okay, it’s not for you.’ She doesn’t wheedle or flip-flop or go into high pressure mode. She treats different people differently, understands that she is working to delight the weird, not please the masses, and walks away. Isn’t that arrogant? No. It’s arrogant to assume that you’ve made something so extraordinary that everyone everywhere should embrace it. Our best work can’t possibly appeal to the average masses, only our average work can. Finding the humility to happily walk away from those that don’t get it unlocks our ability to do great work.”
  • Kracos”: “A few hours into the first show, I noticed that some of the people walking by had little creatures on their shoulders. Kraco, the low-cost stereo company, had a huge booth, and they were giving visitors these little stick-on humanoids, made of some sort of wool, to ride along on their shoulder. They were about two-inches high and they looked precisely as ridiculous as you are imagining. I loved this. These people, these lookers, not buyers, were identifying themselves to us from a distance. The little Kraco man on the shoulder meant, ‘I am here to waste your time, I am not a professional, what will you give me that’s free?’ We quickly began identifying anyone with one of these on their shoulder as a Kraco, someone not worth an investment of focus and energy or free stuff. Alas, the Kracos in your world today don’t wear a little man on their shoulder, but that doesn’t mean they’re not out there. All your prospects are not the same, and if you insist on treating them that way, you will waste your time and your enthusiasm on people who aren’t bringing any to your interaction.”
Advertisements