Posts tagged “seth godin”.

Just a blowhard

December 7th, 2010

Seth Godin on claim chowder:

While I wouldn’t encourage anyone to go as far as Ballmer in this endeavor, it turns out that no one ever got a terminal illness from claim chowder. While it might be frightening to imagine, it’s not so bad in practice. Try it.

Have an opinion. Defend it. It will make you smarter.

I truly hope it makes some opinionated people smarter, because they sure don’t sound smarter.

Godin references John Gruber’s (with some credit going to the guys at Panic) “claim chowder” label – where writers make predictions that turn out to be catastrophically wrong. Godin’s points is that fear of being wrong shouldn’t prevent you from making predictions.

But “having an opinion” isn’t good enough. Everyone can have an opinion, and anyone can throw it up on the web and defend it. But who wants to listen to just anyone with an opinion?

It’s the wisdom to post good opinions that makes the difference.

Wisdom comes from experience and research and paying your dues, along with some keen insight on whatever you’re predicting. Without insight or wisdom, you’re just another loud mouth who’s proved wrong after a few months.

Gruber does this with Apple products because his track record points to his particular wisdom and insight. He also has inside information that lend greater weight to his opinions. Plus Gruber thinks about these things deeper than just about anyone, and that gives him the vision to see baffoons when they appear. Sure, he’s wrong sometimes. But his record speaks for itself.

These yahoos that spout off opinions about products, sight-unseen? Defend those opinions all you want, you still look like a yahoo – unless, of course, being wrong comes as an exception and not a rule.

It’s not enough to have an opinion and defend it. You have to have brains enough to look at the situation and come up with a reasoned, insightful opinion based on experience and knowledge. You have to be right most of the time. Then you’re worth reading.

I’m much more careful at making predictions these days, and I think that’s a good thing. If I don’t have anything but an opinion to offer, I’m not a compelling read. I’m just a blowhard.

The Mac’s value fraction

May 12th, 2009

Seth Godin on price in a recession:

Of course, people actually care more about value. They care about value more than they used to because they can’t afford to overpay, they don’t want to make a mistake with their money.

…The thing is, there’s another way to make the value go up. Increase what you give. Increase quality and quantity and the unmeasurable pieces that bring confidence and joy to an interaction.

When all of your competitors are busy increasing value by cutting prices, you can actually increase market share by increasing value and raising benefits.

I’d call iLife, superior build quality, and innovation values, wouldn’t you? And those “unmeasurable pieces” are what Apple specialize in.

In PC makers race to the bottom price-wise, they lose a lot of what makes owning a computer so special: the “confidence and joy” Godin mentions.

On being a member of the Newton ‘tribe’

October 22nd, 2008

Marketing guru Seth Godin has a new book out, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us. As a way to promote and brainstorm the book, he invited an online “triiibe” to make a book of their own. It’s available for free on Seth’s blog (which is great, and updated every day).

In the free, PDF version of the “Tribes” book, I couldn’t help but notice how many times Apple is brought up. On page 17, an author talks about the not-so-first-in-line Polish iPhone buyers. On page 51, the iPhone unlocker tribe gets its day. “Think Different” is listed as a War Cry on page 41. On page 60, Tom Bentley describes how he’ll be a Mac guy for life after his first experience:

The Mac tribe, of course, has been written about extensively, as has Appleís design magic. There have been some clunkers, but in the main, many are marvelous advances in computing and design. Iím not quite the zealot fanboy who would immediately flame online columnists who question any aspect of the Macintosh Creed, but I get where the fanatics are coming from. Iím in their tribe, after all.

“I am now part of the Newton tribe” sparked my interest at first glance, even if the actual article was about Newton running shoes. Even there, though, Marcus Galica talks about how Newton-wearing runners recognize each other out in the wild. Remember when that was true for iPods? How iPod wearers would give each other “the nod” or “the look”?

Apple’s relatively smaller user base than PCs gets a mention on page 63 (“I’m a Mac, I’m a PC”). Online groups and surfers and ethnic groups are all mentioned in this “Current Tribes Casebook,” but Apple gets its a big share (perhaps more than fair – is that my “tribal mind” talking?) of the attention.

I joined the Apple tribe three years ago in November, and I haven’t looked back. More recently, I joined the Newton tribe (and the jogging tribe and the local brewery tribe, and perhaps a few more), and it’s been a heckuva lot of fun.

What would be written about our little group of holders-on and our big green friend?