Seth Godin

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Seth Godin

Born July 10, 1960 (1960-07-10) (age 48)
Occupation Author, Marketing expert
Spouse(s) Helene Godin

Seth Godin (born July 10, 1960) is an American author of business books and a popular speaker with appearances at Google, TED and a number of charities. Godin popularized the topic of permission marketing.


[edit] Background

According to his biography, Godin's earliest fascination was with a short-wave radio his grandparents bought for him. In an interview with UXPioneers Godin recalls that talking to people without the use of wires felt like "magic."

At 14, Godin took his first steps into entrepreneurship printing Biorhythms at the local university and selling them for $30 each. At 16, Godin founded a ski club and took a group of 50-60 children to ski by his house in Buffalo every week. Around this time Godin is also known to have worked at a fast food outlet and in media sales.

Godin graduated from Tufts University in 1982 with a degree in computer science and philosophy. Godin earned his MBA in marketing from Stanford Business School. From 1983 to 1986, he worked as a brand manager at Spinnaker Software. For a time Godin commuted every week from California and Boston both to do his new job and to complete his MBA.

After leaving Spinnaker Software in 1986, Godin became a book packager. It was in the same offices that Godin met Mark Hurst, and founded Yoyodyne. After a few years Godin sold the book packaging business to his employees and focused his efforts on Yoyodyne, one of the first online marketing companies. It was with Yoyodyne that Godin came up with the concept of permission marketing. For a period of time, Godin served as a columnist for Fast Company[1].

Godin and his wife Helene now live in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

[edit] Viewpoints

First, the end of the "TV-Industrial complex" means that marketers no longer have the power to command the attention of anyone they choose, whenever they choose. Second, in a marketplace in which consumers have more power, marketers must show more respect; this means no spam, no deceit and a bias for keeping promises. Finally, Godin asserts that the only way to spread the word about an idea is for that idea to earn the buzz by being remarkable. Godin refers to those who spread these ideas as "Sneezers", and to the ideas so spread as an "IdeaVirus." He calls a remarkable product or service a purple cow. Yahoo! currently has a model of a purple cow in the lobby of its Sunnyvale campus. [2]

Advertisements on television and radio are classified as 'interruption marketing', which interrupt the customer while he is doing something of his preference. Godin introduced the concept of "permission marketing" where the business provides something of value to the customer and thus obtains his permission and then does marketing.

[edit] Business ventures

[edit] Yoyodyne

In 1995, Godin launched Yoyodyne, which used contests, online games, and scavenger hunts to market companies to participating users.[3] The site gained significant traction, with over one million viewers visiting the site, and companies like America Online, American Express, H&R Block, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Sony Music, Sprint, and Volvo using its services.[4] It was here that Godin founded the principle of "permission marketing."

In 1998, Godin sold Yoyodyne to Yahoo! for $30 million[5] and became its vice president of direct marketing, a position he held until 2000.[6]

[edit] ChangeThis

Godin developed the idea for ChangeThis, a website aimed at spreading ideas through PDF files.[7] In the summer of 2004, Godin hired five interns -- Amit Gupta, Catherine Hickey, Noah Weiss, Phoebe Espiritu and Michelle Sriwongtong -- to build and develop the website.[8] The website went live on August 14, 2004.[9] Tom Peters, Chris Anderson, and Guy Kawasaki all had manifestos featured on ChangeThis.[10] In July of 2005, ChangeThis was turned over to 800-CEO-READ, the leading distributor of business literature in the United States.[11][12]

[edit] Squidoo

In March 2006, Godin launched Squidoo, a community website allowing users to create pages (called "lenses") for subjects of interest. [13] The site donates 5% of the profits to charity, and 50% to the lensmasters. Godin and Squidoo have been profiled on CNN and the Washington Post.[14][15] The site was given top prize in SXSW's community/wiki category.[16] As of July 2008, Squidoo is one of the 500 most visited sites in the world.[17]

[edit] Books

Godin is the author of 11 books; his Free Prize Inside was a Forbes Business Book of the Year in 2004,[18] in its first two years of release, Purple Cow sold over 150,000 copies in more than 23 printings.[19] The Dip was a Business Week and New York Times bestseller.[20][21] And Godin has called his free ebook Unleashing the Ideavirus the most "popular ebook ever written".[22] In the early 1990's he created a ten book series for children titled Worlds of Power, which was written by various writers. In each the plot of a single video game was told by in a novelized form.[23]

[edit] Bibliography

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ "Seth's Blog: So long to Fast Company". Retrieved on 2008-02-16. 
  2. ^ Pony Express? Nope, Moo Mail! Yodel Anecdotal blog. August 14, 2006.
  3. ^ Point, Click, Here's the Pitch BusinessWeek February 9, 1998
  4. ^ Yahoo! to Acquire Yoyodyne Earthweb News. October 12, 1998.
  5. ^ Yahoo Acquiring Yoyodyne October 12, 1998.
  6. ^ Seth Godin on
  7. ^ [ ChangeThis]
  8. ^ ChangeThis FAQ ChangeThis.
  9. ^ ChangeThis Is Now Live Seth Godin's Blog. August 14, 2004.
  10. ^ Whatever Happened to ChangeThis? Seth Godin's Blog. "We featured authors as diverse as Tom Peters, Amnesty International, Chris Anderson, Hugh Macleod, George Lakoff and Guy Kawaski."
  11. ^ ChangeThis Returns on 800-CEO-Blog. July 1, 2005
  12. ^ Progressive "ChangeThis" Under New Stewardship on bnet. September 12, 2005
  13. ^ Eric Enge Interviews Seth Godin on Stone Temple Consulting. June 20, 2007
  14. ^ Wong, Grace Make Money with Squidoo CNN. February 10, 2006
  15. ^ Squidoo Washington Post. January 8, 2006.
  16. ^ Squidoo Honored at 10th SXSW Interactive Web Awards on Vigit Labs. March 14, 2007
  17. ^ Traffic Details: on Retrieved July 18, 2008
  18. ^ " Business Book of the Year". Forbes. Retrieved on 2008-05-25. "
  19. ^ Hogan, Ron (2005-05-16). "How to Succeed in Business (Books)". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved on 2008-05-20. "...reports that the two-year-old title has more than 150,000 copies in print after 23 printings"
  20. ^ Business Week Bestseller List: October 8th, 2007
  21. ^ New York Times Bestseller List: June 8th 2007
  22. ^ Self-evangelism: How the top self-branders sell themselves
  23. ^ People (magazine), July 30, 1990, "Worlds of Power" series review by Ralph Novak

[edit] External links

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