Monday, May 17, 2010

Godin's Got the Goods

There's nothing I love more than finding hidden, or not so hidden, gems on the Internet, and here's one I just couldn't wait to share.

A few nights ago, I had dinner with my brother, and per usual, our conversation turned to the changing face of media and business, the effects of the Internet on those changes, and the incredible opportunities for innovation in this new century.

He recommended a blog created and maintained by a guy named Seth Godin. Now Seth is one of those people on whom you don't want to put a label, but if you insisted, I'd describe him as a marketing expert, business philosopher and all-purpose out-of-the-box thinker.

Seth's a Stanford MBA with a long and eclectic resume as an an entrepreneur. He worked for awhile as a book packager, then founded the online marketing company Yoyodyne, where he created the concept of "permission marketing," in which businesses, usually net-based ones, seek explicit permission from customers - i.e. in the form of email opt-ins and the like - before sending promotional material.

He's also written eleven books, not to mention created the the social media info portal, Squidoo, which donates 50% of its profits to members, and another 5% to charity.

But it's on his blog - aptly titled Seth's Blog - where Godin truly shines. Jump on over to it and take in a dose of his thoughts and ideas. You can even sign up for email blasts of upcoming posts.

Here's a sample to whet your palate. Reprinted below is an irresistible piece from Godin, published earlier this week. Enjoy!

Where do you Find Good Ideas?

Do you often find ideas that change everything in a windowless conference room, with bottled water on the side table and a circle of critics and skeptics wearing suits looking at you as the clock ticks down to the 60 minutes allocated for this meeting?

If not, then why do you keep looking for them there?

The best ideas come out of the corner of our eye, the edge of our consciousness, in a flash. They are the result of misdirection and random collisions, not a grinding corporate onslaught. And yet we waste billions of dollars in time looking for them where they're not.

A practical tip: buy a big box of real wooden blocks. Write a key factor/asset/strategy on each block in big letters. Play with the blocks. Build concrete things out of non-concrete concepts. Uninvite the devil's advocate, since the devil doesn't need one, he's doing fine.

Have fun. Why not? It works.

1 comment:

Lalia Helmer said...

Hi Blair,
Feels funny posting a comment on one of my own contributors to this blog. But your post has extraordinary relevance to the purpose of this blog, being to inspire businesses to think creatively about their philanthropy. I have been a long admirer of Seth Godin's as he challenges all types of organizations to think differently, and business philanthropy can learn from this too.