Are You Indispensable?

It’s been 5 years since Seth Godin’s first visit to Orange County. I went with a few colleagues not knowing what to expect. Since then, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? has become one of my favorite books and I’ve bought many copies to give out to friends. He left us with a charge to think differently about branding & marketing; to think differently about what we make. He told us to make art, give gifts, do work that matters, connect, lead, ship, and make a difference.

Brian Elliot of thegoodbrain.com, former Universal Home Entertainment exec with 15+ years in brand strategy, production, DVD and original content, hosted that evening’s keynote with Seth Godin. This morning, he FINALLY received permission from Godin to post his epic full-length keynote and emailed the link to a bunch of us who were there. There were about 900 people in attendance that day, back in 2010, at the the St. Regis Hotel to hear Seth LIVE. His message about being “indispensable” is even more relevant today.

If you don’t know Godin, he’s the godfather of modern marketing, bestselling author of more than a dozen biz books and has one of the most read blogs on the planet. I hope you enjoy this rare treat!

Ask Two Irrational Questions to Persuade People to Do What You Want

There are times when the audience you are targeting is not as excited in your product, theory or personality as you wish them to be. Daniel Pink (one of my favorite authors) uses the parable of the child and the messy room to point out a simple but effective method for persuading people one step closer to the reaction you are desiring. It obviously doesn’t work 100% of time, however, it may be worth a shot for those who are the edge of your target audience. Part of its brilliance is getting someone to find their own motivation to move forward, not pushing your reasoning on them.

Watch the video and let me know your thoughts…

Getting confused about causation and correlation

Seth Godin’s post this morning hit the nail on the head.

Have you noticed that in most cities, every time there are lots of umbrellas, it’s raining?

From this analysis, the obvious way to make it rain is to be sure that everyone has an umbrella, preferably a black one, since that seems to be the kind that’s most visible during big storms.

The trappings of successful marketing (or successful anything for that matter) aren’t always the causes. Sometimes they are the caused. Just because Apple did something doesn’t mean that it was responsible for Apple’s success. It may be that they were successful despite some of the things they did, not because of them.

I see a lot of individuals and brands struggle with this concept. We seem to forget sometimes all that goes into success. Being open to visualize success as the result of controllable AND uncontrollable causes is key. Sometimes there are things we can proactively do to aid in success, but sometimes is it as simple as getting out of the way of what is already taking place.

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Stop Stealing Dreams

A remarkable manifesto about education and how its stealing our children’s willingness to dream. And if you think this only has to with education…then you’re sadly mistaken. It has to with U.S. economics, small business, technical innovations, arts, and how we see our lives. Take the time and read it…it may just change your outlook on creativity.

via Seth Godin’s “Stop Stealing Dreams

The economy has changed, probably forever. School hasn’t.

School was invented to create a constant stream of compliant factory workers to the growing businesses of the 1900s. It continues to do an excellent job at achieving this goal, but it’s not a goal we need to achieve any longer.

In this 30,000 word manifesto, I imagine a different set of goals and start (I hope) a discussion about how we can reach them. One thing is certain: if we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’ve been getting.

Our kids are too important to sacrifice to the status quo.

You can get your copy for free

Here are four versions of the manifesto. Pick the one that you need, and feel free to share. To download a file, you’ll probably need the option key or the right click button on your mouse… ask a teenager if you get stuck.
The On Screen version
Use this one to read it on a computer or similar device. Feel free to email to the teachers, parents and administrators in your life.
The Printable edition
This is the same document, but formatted for your laser printer or the local copy shop. You are welcome to make copies, but please don’t charge for it or edit it.
Here’s the Kindle edition
You’ll need to download it and then plug in your Kindle via a USB cable. Drag the file to the Documents folder on your Kindle and boom, you’re done.
The ePub edition
This should work with other types of ebook readers, but I haven’t tested it. Your mileage may vary, and if it doesn’t work, the PDF should.
The manifesto in HTML on the web
Useful for cutting and pasting, I guess. The PDFs are easier to read.
How I built the manifesto, plus back up links
If any of the links above don’t work, you’ll find back up PDF downloads here, as well as a long-ish essay about how I built them.

“Hold onto dreams, for if dreams die, life is like a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” – Langston Hughes

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