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Seth Godin

Just enough

There are two paths, really: "I will serve just enough to make the maximum profit" or "I will profit just enough to provide the maximum service."

Making it political

The difference between an actual discussion (where we seek the right answer) and a political one is simple: In a political discussion, people don’t care about what’s correct or effective or true.

Transactions without conflict

It’s only been 140 years since the price tag first appeared. Before that, most every transaction was a negotiation. The seller tried to win by charging more, the buyer by paying less. In many ways,

Ringing vs wringing

Ringing is resonant. A small force causes sympathetic vibrations, and magic happens. Wringing requires significant effort and can even destroy the object it is applied to. When you ring a bell for

The problem with coming attractions

“Knock, knock…” That’s not a coming attraction. It’s an invitation. An opening. A bit of tension in terms of closure. A coming attraction, on the other hand, gives it all away. It says, “here’s a bit

Community rank

You’re probably familiar with class rank. Among all the kids in this high school, compared to everyone else’s GPA, where do you stand? And you’ve heard about sports rank, #1 in the world at tennis or

All other things being equal (simple contribution analysis for pricing)

If you make a product that costs $5 to produce and package, how much should you charge for it? I don’t know. But there’s a simple bit of arithmetic you can do to understand sensitivity in pricing.

The exaggeration of small differences without a difference

“What should we do with all the left-handed people?” “There are far too many people in this organization who wear glasses. It’s hurting our ability to compete.” Here’s a simple trick: Every time you

The two “Harvard problems”

In many fields, there’s a big name. The exclusive slot. The top ranking or badge. This is being a top 10 podcast, or on a certain bestseller list or working at a specific sort of company… The first

Difficult decisions

These are the decisions that are forced on us, the ones that feel unfair, the ones where there are no seemingly good outcomes. How to proceed? Acknowledge that it sucks. That you’d rather not be in

Alcohol vs. cannabis marketing

[There’s a lesson here for all marketers—legacy brands have clouded our understanding of what marketing can do today…] US prohibition ended in 1933. After that, there was a gold rush that led to the

Price and satisfaction

You don’t need to read many reviews to realize that the correlation between price and satisfaction isn’t what you might have guessed. It’s super rare for someone to write, “5 stars. The product wasn’t

“Summer’s almost over”

When I was a kid, my mom would start saying that in mid-July. I think she meant well. Summer is a great time to stand back, to chill out, to spend an entire day or a week producing little or nothing

Reality-based reality

It’s ever easier to weave our own reality, to find a bubble and to reinforce what we believe with what we hear. We can invent our own rules, create our own theories, fabricate our own ‘facts’. It

Worth paying for

When you bring a product or service to the free market, the market decides what it’s worth. If you don’t want to be treated like a commodity (a race to the bottom), there are two paths: Through

The truth about logos

Here’s a simple test: Ask a few people to name a logo they like. With very few exceptions, people will choose a logo that’s associated with a brand they admire. That’s because what makes a good logo

The wrong bus

Your first mistake was getting on the A53 bus, the one that goes crosstown instead of to where you're going. Mistakes like this happen all the time. The big mistake, though, the one that will cost

The weather tax

In the short run, weather emergencies can create a boost in the economy. They put people to work, require new building, emergency action and investment. But like a war, these boosts are only

What gets maximized?

When an organization succeeds, the owners decide what to maximize. Some of the choices: Salaries for the bosses Distributions to the shareholders Stock price Salaries for everyone else Positive impact

The motor

Here’s a simple hierarchy: The self-driving car Cruise control Manual driving Hitchhiking Bicycling Walking The arc? As you move down the list, it gets harder and harder to coast. It moves from “set