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Trailblazer 04: Seth Godin Entrepreneur of the Information Age

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Seth Godin is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, speaker, and, above all else, a teacher who gives people the tools they need to make the impactful changes they want to see in the world.  By focusing on everything from effective marketing and leadership, to the spread of ideas, Seth has been able to motivate and inspire countless people around the world.  He is a global thought-leader on the post-industrial revolution, how ideas disseminate, marketing, quitting, leadership, and most of all, changing everything including the uneven distribution of food, unequal access to medicine, and our energy system.  Seth has famously made the bold statement that climate change is a marketing problem, not a technology problem.  His blog on marketing, tribes, and respect was named by Time among its 25 best blogs.

In addition to launching one of the most popular blogs in the world, Seth has written 20 best-selling books addressing various aspects of marketing, advertising, business venturing, and leadership, including The Dip, Linchpin, Purple Cow, Tribes, and What To Do When It's Your Turn (And It's Always Your Turn). His books, This is Marketing, was an instant bestseller in countries around the world. Free Prize Inside was a Forbes Business Book of the Year in 2004, while Purple Cow sold over 150,000 copies in more than 23 print runs in its first two years. The Dip was a Business Week and New York Times bestseller; Business Week also named Linchpin among its "20 of the best books by the most influential thinkers in business" on November 13, 2015. 

Seth is also known as "the ultimate entrepreneur for the information age".  Though renowned for his writing and speaking, he also founded two companies, Squidoo and Yoyodyne.  Yoyodyne, launched in 1995, used contests, online games, and scavenger hunts to market companies to participating users. In August 1996, Flatiron Partners invested $4 million in Yoyodyne in return for a 20% stake.  At Yoyodyne, Godin published Permission Marketing: Turning strangers into friends and friends into customers which describes and promotes a non-traditional marketing technique that advertises goods and services when advance consent is given. In 1998, Seth sold Yoyodyne to Yahoo! for about $30 million and became Yahoo's vice president of direct marketing.

In March 2006, Godin launched Squidoo, a revenue-sharing writing site and by July 2008, Squidoo was one of the 500 most visited sites in the world.  Godin raised more than $250,000 from readers with a Kickstarter campaign In June 2013, which in turn secured him a book contract with his publisher for his book "The Icarus Deception."  He was also one of just three professionals inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame. In an astonishing turn of events, in May 2018, he was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame as well. He might be the only person in both.

"This world is changing faster than it has changed in 10,000 years. The real urgency in front of us is to get clear about what the change we seek to make is and who we seek to change, that it might feel good to push people to use grocery bags that can be reused 100 times instead of 30 times. But it feels to me like it's way more urgent to stop mining coal. And we have just got to come up with our priority list. Be really clear about how we're going to tell stories around those things. So that urgently people decide that they were right all along, in wanting this problem to go away. They were right all along and choosing to act a certain way. And people like us, we do things like this. What are those things? And we're missing that component right now of passionate, generous, dignified storytelling."

Useful links:

Seth's Blog

Seth's Website

Seth's TEDTalks 

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