||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2014)|
July 10, 1960 |
Mount Vernon, New York
|Alma mater||Tufts University
|Occupation||Author, entrepreneur, public speaker|
Seth Godin (born July 10, 1960) is an American author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker.
Born in Mount Vernon, New York, Godin received his high school diploma from Williamsville East High School in 1978 before graduating from Tufts University with a degree in computer science and philosophy. Godin attended Camp Arowhon, where he was a valued canoe instructor. He still frequents the camp to tell ghost stories. Godin often refers to his camp days in his writings. Godin earned his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. From 1983 to 1986, he worked as a brand manager at Spinnaker Software.
After leaving Spinnaker Software in 1986, Godin used $20,000 in savings to found Seth Godin Productions, primarily a book packaging business, out of a studio apartment in New York City. 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. It was with Yoyodyne that Godin promoted the concept of permission marketing originally developed by Perlstein.
Godin argues that 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, he thinks 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 spreading idea as an "IdeaVirus." He calls a remarkable product or service a purple cow.
Advertisements on television and radio are classified by Godin as "interruption marketing" which interrupt the customer while they are doing something of their preference. Godin promoted the concept of "permission marketing" where the business provides something "anticipated, personal, and relevant".
In 1995, Godin launched Yoyodyne, which used contests, online games, and scavenger hunts to market companies to participating users. In August, 1996, venture-capital firm Flatiron Partners invested $4 million in Yoyodyne in return for a 20% stake. 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.
At Yoyodyne, Godin authored Permission Marketing: Turning strangers into friends and friends into customers.
In March 2006, Godin launched Squidoo, a community website allowing users to create pages (called "lenses") for subjects of interest. 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. The site was given top prize in SXSW's community/wiki category. In July 2008, Squidoo was one of the 500 most visited sites in the world.
Godin developed the idea for ChangeThis, a website aimed at spreading ideas through PDF files. 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. The website went live on August 14, 2004. Tom Peters, Chris Anderson, and Guy Kawasaki all had manifestos featured on ChangeThis. In July 2005, ChangeThis was turned over to 800-CEO-READ, a distributor of business literature in the United States.
In December 2008, Godin announced in a blog post that he would be offering a six-month alternative MBA program at his office in Hastings on Hudson, NY. 48,000 people looked at the post and 340 applied. He invited 27 applicants to his office for a group interview. They spent two hours interviewing one another. After co-mingling, they and Godin together wrote down the names of their favorite candidates. Three weeks later the chosen 9 showed up at Godin's office. This group graduated in July 2009.
In February 2012, Godin released a 30,000 word manifesto on Squidoo in response to the question "What do you think we ought to do about education?". This manifesto is "totally free to read, share, translate, print and, most of all, use to start an essential conversation".
In June 2012, Godin launched a new project—an experiment in crowdfunding a published book. Instead of approaching his publisher for his next book, The Icarus Deception: Why Make Art?, Godin launched a Kickstarter campaign. In the first week, he raised more than $250,000 from readers, which in turn secured him a book contract with his publisher.
In October 2012, Godin started a podcast on the Earwolf network. The weekly podcast follows Seth as he guides thirty entrepreneurs through a workshop exploring how they can build and run their dream business.
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As of August 2013, Godin and his wife Helene live in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, US with their two sons.
Godin is the author of 15 books; Tribes and Linchpin are his two best selling books. Free Prize Inside was a Forbes Business Book of the Year in 2004, in its first two years of release, Purple Cow sold over 150,000 copies in more than 23 printings. The Dip was a Business Week and New York Times bestseller. In the early 1990s 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 in a novelized form.
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