After leaving Spinnaker in 1986, he used $20,000 in savings to found Seth Godin Productions, primarily a book packaging business, out of a studio apartment in New York City. In the same offices he 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, where he promoted the concept of permission marketing.
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. Over one million viewers visited the site, and the companies America Online, American Express, H&R Block, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Sony Music, Sprint, and Volvo have used its services. At Yoyodyne, Godin published Permission Marketing: Turning strangers into friends and friends into customers. In 1998, he sold Yoyodyne to Yahoo! for about $30 million and became Yahoo's vice president of direct marketing, a position he held until 2000.
In March 2006, Godin launched Squidoo, a community website that allowed users, called "lensmasters," to create pages (called "lenses") for subjects of interest. The site donated 5 percent of the profits to charity, and 50 percent to the lensmasters. Godin and Squidoo were profiled on CNN and in the Washington Post, while the website 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. On August 15, 2014, he announced that Squidoo was acquired by HubPages, and stated that the aim was to relocate some of Squidoo's content to its new home at HubPages by October 1, 2014.
In October 2012, Godin started a podcast on the Earwolf network. In the weekly podcast he guides thirty entrepreneurs through a workshop exploring how they can build and run their dream business.
As of April 27, 2014, Godin is the author of 17 books: Tribes and Linchpin are his two best-selling books, while Free Prize Inside was a Forbes Business Book of the Year in 2004. Additionally, during its first two years of release, Purple Cow sold over 150,000 copies in over more than 23 print runs.The Dip was a Business Week and New York Times bestseller. In the early 1990s, he created a 10-book series for children titled Worlds of Power, which was written by various writers. Each of the book's plots is based on a video game and are written in a novelized form.
In June 2012, 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 April of 2016, Godin's book, All Marketers Are Liars, was selected by Carine Alexis at Forbes as one of six essential books every marketer should have on their shelf.
^Hogan, Ron (2005-05-16). "How to Succeed in Business (Books)". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2014-01-20."...reports that the two-year-old title has more than 150,000 copies in print after 23 printings"