Simmering in the Pot

I think I'll let the chili cook a little longer.

I think I’ll let the chili cook a little longer.

I like Seth Godin. If you know me, you know I read his stuff and I think he’s almost always worth considering. You could even call me “pathetic” and accuse me of being a fanboy. He’s been amazingly successful and he offers some great advice, especially if you want to break free of 20th century thinking about work and career. 

Having said that Seth’s stuff the past week or so has been causing some dissonance.

Maybe it’s just me. Perhaps the bump on my head and the blow to my chest (and a collapsed lung) are sapping my powers to reason and I’m just chewing on a bitter pill this week.

‘Twas working on something that I wanted to post, but it just seemed overly cranky.

I guess I’ll leave it simmering in the pot a little longer and see if I can sweeten it up a bit and serve it a little later.

4 thoughts on “Simmering in the Pot

  1. While Godin’s business is marketing, he reads sometimes as if all of life can be reduced to marketing. On the whole I think his blog is positive, but sometimes he misses big points so completely I have to scratch my head and wonder. His recent long post on e-books, for example, misses the big boat, which is what happens to all those ebooks when the electricity coughs. Why does no one steal e-books, he asks, replying that no one reads, and yet he’s just made a case that we’re in the golden age of books (I would suggest the answer is because e-books are fairly priced, unlike a DVD or CD, which are leftovers from a failed corporate business model).

    I find Godin thought-provoking, and that’s valuable. But I just find that when I do start thinking carefully about what he writes, there’s nothing there. Like his TED talk on education, he’s so close, and yet he misses it. He’s a marketer who has never read Bernays.

  2. I used to get Seth Godin’s daily posts; then I started questioning some of the things he was saying. One post seemed to contradict another. While I do agree with some of his big picture “ideas” about the world of work and what motivates people, I think he may be caught up in a “production” loop where he’s got to “hustle” to constantly “produce stuff” for his “fans” and his “bottom line.” Because even though he’s part of a new economy of work, he still has a bottom line.

    Reggie Black and I have been having some “hustling culture” conversations and we’ve wondered if any great art will ever be produced again. What school teacher would encourage a young and talented (writer, painter, singer) to spend their entire life on one work of art? That isn’t profitable in a hustling culture.

  3. What schoolteacher would encourage? Hell, what schoolteacher would even recognize a great work of art? I would venture this: no product of American schooling is capable of creating great art. Name one.

    I do think you’re right on his production loop. He recycles one or two ideas in many different ways, but they’re still the same ideas. Good ones, yes, and perhaps in marketing bear constant repeating. But for blog reading, they grow stale.

    • @ LProp and JAB,

      Great comments and thanks for stirring in a dash of your own contributions. It’s really rounding into something quite tasty.

      I spent a portion of yesterday reading the latest edition of The Baffler, aka, Baffler [No. 23], titled, “A Carnival of Buncombe.”

      They are one of the few publications out there today that address many of the very same things we’re discussing; America’s “hustling culture,” the myth of never-ending progress, the education/industrial complex, etc.

      This latest issue nails a number of things perfectly and really lays out in an erudite way some of the major systemic problems with higher ed, the buncombe of the cult of Lean In perpetuated by Sheryl Sandberg, not to mention, they send a salvo over the bow directed at LinkedIn, too, in the article “All LinkedIn with Nowhere to Go.”

      I’m going to have to subscribe to both The Baffler and The Oxford American, and disconnect from Godin’s spin machine, I think.

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