23 Tweetable Startup Insights From Seth Godin

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23 Tweetable Startup Insights From Seth Godin

 

Regular readers of this blog know that I’m a long-time admirer of Seth Godin.  He’s one of those “big thinkers” that has the added talent of being able to articulate high-level concepts in an immensely approachable way.  That’s a very rare, and dare I say remarkable intersection of abilities.Seth Godin on Startups

The following is a list of short, pithy insights that I’ve been collecting from Seth’s Blog over the past few months.  They were not all written specifically for startups, but I found them to be particularly relevant for entrepreneurs.  I, like many, think Seth's ideas deserve to be spread.

Enjoy.

If you find any of these particularly resonant, there’s a convenient link to tweet it. 

23 Tweetable Startup Insights From Seth Godin

1) Reliance on the tried and true can backfire. [tweet]

2) Sell the problem. No business buys a solution for a problem they don't have. [tweet]

3) Every activity worth doing has a learning curve. [tweet]

4) As the world gets faster, the glacial changes of years and decades are more important, not less. [tweet]

5) Cultural shifts create long terms evolutionary changes. [tweet]

6) Being 1st helps in the short run. Being a little more right pays off in the long run. Last is the worst. [tweet]

7) Build in virality. [tweet]

8) Subscriptions beat one-off sales. [tweet]

9) Treat different customers differently. [tweet]

10) Generate joy. Don't just satisfy a need for a commodity. [tweet]

11) Plan on remarkable experiences, not remarkable ads. [tweet]

12) Don't build a fortress of secrets, bet on open. [tweet]

13) You can get even more done if you give away credit, relentlessly [tweet]

14) Create scarcity but act with abundance. [tweet]

15) Competition validates you. It creates a category. It permits the sale to be this or that, not yes or no. [tweet]

16) There are lots of good reasons to abandon a project. Having a little competition is not one of them. [tweet]

17) It's not who can benefit from what you sell. It's about choosing the customers you'd like to have. [tweet]

18) The customers you fire and those you pay attention to all send signals to the rest of the group. [tweet]

19) 100 people doing something at the same time has far more power than 300 people doing it over time. [tweet]

20) Are you chasing or being chased? Are you leading or following? Are you fleeing or climbing? [tweet]

21) Get it right for ten people before you rush around scaling up to a thousand. [tweet]

22) Highlighting what's working helps you make that happen more often. [tweet]

23) Perfect is overrated. Perfect doesn't scale, either. [tweet]

Which is your favorite?  Any that I missed that you have in your secret stash?

Posted by Dharmesh Shah on Wed, Sep 01, 2010

COMMENTS

Fascinating post; I'm retweeting like crazy!

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 12:59 PM by Michael Werner


Seth is indeed remarkable, his ability to offer invigorating advice on a daily basis puts him in a league of his own. He was kind enough to include our video about the real people that start natural product companies<a>www.abesmarket.com<a> in his Linchpin Vook which just launched yesterday.

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 1:02 PM by Richard Demb


Though they're not for startups per se they still are extremely relevant. I remember reading the "get it right for a thousand before you try ten thousand" post a couple of days ago. 
 
Great stuff!

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 1:04 PM by Mike @Biblical Strategies for Startups


#2 and #3 are at the top of the list. Great, Simple list.

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 1:22 PM by GregT


yes like Mike just mentioned, they are not just for start ups. I believe they could applied for any business and during any phase of it. 
 
regardless, there's a lot to learn from it and i love it. 
 
Thanks 
Shank 
http://yousocial.us

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 1:22 PM by Shank


Dharmesh - 
 
 
 
Some words of wisdom perfect for start-ups: "the question should not be, 'how did you shoot yourself in the foot', the question should be,'how fast can you reload".

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 1:24 PM by Marc Gedansky


Good selection Dharmesh!  
 
I've a few from his book Tribes, I'd like to share:  
 
- Build your own tribe 
- This isn't about having a great idea... great ideas are out there, this is about taking the initiative and making things happen 
- Like a restaurant with a line out the door - it didn't open that way

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 1:32 PM by Devesh


I will have to remember #8 more often for my own business.

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 1:36 PM by Nikole Gipps


16 is my favorite.

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 1:36 PM by Custom IT Solutions


Love #2 - Sell a problem... - so easy to forget, so powerful when implemented.

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 1:37 PM by Steve Olsher


16 is my favorite.

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 1:38 PM by Custom IT Solutions


Dharmesh:  
Yes, Seth Godin is (in my book), the most incisive and insightful "New" Marketer in the world. I find it interesting and ironic that your post is titled "23 Tweetable Startup Insights From Seth Godin" because Seth Godin doesn't Tweet! While there's an @sethgodin place holder--- Seth doesn't use Twitter himself. While a mass of marketers are Tweeting right and left, Seth is taking the time to say more with less (not in the character count of his messages) but by distilling his observations into valuable comments and observations that truly reveal. Can Twitterers learn from Seth?! I think so!

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 1:39 PM by Patrick Rafter


It's quite an interesting and incisive piece, and this is good for start ups.

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 1:48 PM by Chris Mbekela


On Creativity... 
 
"A true entrepreneur has no monopoly on how to "invite" a spark...just an annoying habit of not being able to "dismiss" them!" 
 

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 1:54 PM by George VonAllmen


Extremely useful AND interesting. Makes marketing even more facinating and challenging. I've already tweeted the entire list on my Twitter account (although I have only 4 followers) and posted to my Facebook page.

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 2:14 PM by James Karon


#2 is the best.

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 2:32 PM by Abraham Alemu


Sorry, but it was painful to read these rehashed axioms. It's like Tom Peters took a cr*p and Seth Godin came out. I give the guy credit for shameless self promotion though.

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 2:34 PM by Andy Hilliard


Hey Dharmesh, 
 
Just discovered your blog via a colleague. Love they way you think -- and communicate. 
 
Really appreciate this post about Seth's quotables. 
 
Kuddos man, 
JP

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 3:33 PM by JP Maroney


I love #10 best! I love joy! I love spreading joy! Thanks for sharing!

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 3:43 PM by wickless candles


A couple of my favourites are: 
 
- paths without obstacles usually lead nowhere! 
 
 
- doors of opportunity aren't opened...they are merely unlocked, It's up to us to turn the handle.

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 3:47 PM by Brett Jacobson


Thanks so much for sharing these great tips! As an entrepreneur in the early stage of building our product, I can't agree more and also get reminded of the wisdom! Thanks!

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 4:23 PM by Beatrice Pang


Good list of small insights, 2 is the one that really matters for any business I guess. 
 
Janaki

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 5:11 PM by Janaki Ramani


I like this list :-)  
And Seth Godin too! 
Kuddos to You too Dharmesh for the blog! 
My favourite: 17) It's not who can benefit from what you sell. It's about choosing the customers you'd like to have. 
 
It's not easy to explain to people somtimes... :-) 
 
Rgds, 
Tomasz

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 6:08 PM by Tomasz Piotrowski ({PvB)


I like this one most 
21) Get it right for ten people before you rush around scaling up to a thousand. 
 
Satisfy your first 10 customers and others will follow automatically...  
 
We are doing the same. 
 
Thanks 
Surendra 
http://www.germanymantra.com 
http://ssr.germanymantra.com

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 11:14 PM by Surendra


Wow one of the best post on your blog by far!!! Thank you!!!

posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 at 11:55 PM by Minna Van


an excellent post. 
 
we are a startup heading for the launch at the Demo conference in Silicon Valley (13-15 Sept) and almost every single point of the list made us think once again if we are on the right track. we are convinced we are :-) It is the most exciting time of my career.we will rock the house and we thank all the people who share our idea and support us. 
 
Thanks for this post: simple, concise and to the point.

posted on Thursday, September 02, 2010 at 1:02 AM by Harald Weiss


Sorry.... not a fan of the obvious

posted on Thursday, September 02, 2010 at 4:25 AM by Marcus Underwood


Interesting that a couple of folks have comments about not liking Seth. Everyone has different tastes, so no big deal there. 
 
But I found the comment about not being a "fan of the obvious" amusing. In my experience, most failures come about by NOT doing the obvious. 
 
Being reminding of the "obvious" from time to time, is a great way to, hmmm, well, remember the obvious.

posted on Thursday, September 02, 2010 at 8:49 AM by Michael Werner


Nice summary! 
 
It would have been best if you could link to the original essays by Seth. Google can do that I suppose.

posted on Thursday, September 02, 2010 at 11:21 PM by Bala


Paraphrasing John Chambers: if you're not making a lot of mistakes, you're not doing enough stuff.

posted on Friday, September 03, 2010 at 2:34 PM by Peter Biro


Oh! Yes- A lot of these are rehashed axioms- but the remarkability of Seth Godin lies in the fact that he makes theories come to life in simple, everyday, understandable language. The context gets significance- not 'models' and 'theories'- thus making you relate more to the situation.  
 
It's POP Vs Classical.  
 
I would say Classic Pop.  
 
Shalabh 
 
...still Chasing The Storm

posted on Friday, September 03, 2010 at 8:47 PM by Shalabh Pandey


"Sell the problem. No business buys a solution for a problem they don't have."  
 
I also admire Seth Godin. The above quote is actually directly relevant to my business. Although I missed it when he tweeted it, I'm glad you pointed it out here. I am going to implement it into our marketing strategy immediately.

posted on Sunday, September 05, 2010 at 3:02 PM by Stephen


Great list. I vote for number 17.  
The problem, of course, is when customers you did not target start buying from you. Then you need to, either have discipline and stick to the plan, i.e. still try to focus on the original customers, or re-examine your assumptions and change you’re the clients you target. Both options are hard to perform and unfortunately, the easiest way is to be opportunistic and try to serve both the original clients and the new ones. Out of experience – this seems great initially but very quickly defocuses your business.  
 
Tal 

posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 at 5:17 AM by Tal Sliwowicz


It's amazing how Seth can distill ideas down to their most basic message. Simple, clean and applicable quotes.  
Thanks for sharing,  
Colin at SimplifiedEcommerce.com

posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 at 11:34 AM by Colin8ch


I have printed this list down and plan to use it as a regular checklist. Thanks!

posted on Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 8:10 AM by Sharon Mukami


I've created a video about this topic - 100 people doing something at the same time has far more power than 300 people doing it over time - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1_28kfowJI

posted on Monday, September 20, 2010 at 4:10 PM by Gonzalo Orsi


Seth Godin has chosen not to tweet himself, because he explains he's not very good at it and doesn't have time. TED interview (towards the end). 
 
Perhaps his genius is that everyone else tweets his quotes for him.

posted on Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 12:38 PM by Chris Dunn


Sorry wrong link.  
TED Interview with Seth.

posted on Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 12:42 PM by Chris Dunn


Like this article very much. I like to re-post this in my blog & put linkable url to ur website. I hope it's fine for u.. 
Thnx

posted on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 2:52 AM by Hary Kurniawan


Generate joy is the best one. Have fun while you work and the world would be a better place, wouldn't it

posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 6:40 AM by Usama


Surprised that anyone could disagree or simply dismiss these as "obvious" or "rehashed". Whether they are or not, obvious things are easily forgotten unless stated simply and memorably. Memorable simplicity is Seth's gift. We could all use a dose of that. 
 
Thanks for assembling the distilled list.

posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 11:32 AM by Paul


Paul... you are a wise man!

posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 12:33 PM by Michael Werner


These thoughts may be the art of the bleeding obvious but that does not matter. What does matter is that people starting businesses imagine that such banal observations will be the slightest help. New busineses do not start with simple rules. They start with passion and succeed through persistence, commitment and hardwork. 
 
 
 
Good luck to all start-ups. 
 
 
 
Roger Haywood

posted on Tuesday, October 05, 2010 at 11:56 AM by Roger Haywood


Paul and Michael Werner, I am with you too.  

posted on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 3:20 PM by Aparna


Excellent post. I am working in IT, however find these words highly motivating and flagging out lots of factors that I used to ignore. Thanks for the wonderful post. Will take a print and use as daily checklist.

posted on Sunday, October 17, 2010 at 3:24 AM by Ali


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