Seth Godin on Foundations

This is part of the Seth Godin on Story wiki. Check out my chat with Seth, dig deeper into the art and science of business storytelling.

It’s not often that Seth provides any kind of a recipe … his work tends to focus more on insight, inspiration and provocation.

And this is why.

The following list was written 9 years ago (as I type this) and it’s as valuable today as it was then. Build your business on principles, not tactics.

Foundation Elements for Modern Businesses

You can live without some of these pieces, but go in with your eyes open if you do:

  • Build in Virality. Consider: Groupon.
  • Don’t sell a product that can be purchased cheaper at Amazon.
  • Subscriptions beat one-off sales.
  • Try to create an environment where your customers are happier when there are other customers doing business with you (see 1).
  • Treat different customers differently.
  • Generate Joy; don’t just satisfy a need for a commodity.
  • Rely on unique individuals, not an easily copied system.
  • Plan on Remarkable Experiences, not remarkable ads.
  • Don’t build a fortress of Secrets; bet on Open.
  • Unless there’s a differentiating business reason, use off-the-shelf software and cheap cloud storage.
  • The Asset of the future is the embrace of a tribe, not a cheaper widget.
  • Match expenses to cash flow—don’t run out of money, because it’s no longer 1999.
  • Create Scarcity, but act with Abundance. Free samples create demand for the valuable (but not unlimited) tier you offer.
  • Tell a story, erect a Mythology, walk the walk.
  • Plan on Obsolescence (of your products, not your customers).

Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck?: And Other Provocations (2013) – Seth Godin

See Also:

On Attention | On Authenticity | On Average | On Intangibles  On Marketing | On Pricing | On Selling | On Ideaviriuses



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