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, where he promoted the concept of permission marketing.
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", an idea which he developed in his book Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable.
Advertisements on television and radio are classified by Godin as "interruption marketing" that 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 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, Godin 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.
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 further discussion, they and Godin together wrote down the names of their favorite candidates. Three weeks later the nine chosen applicants came to 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.
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.
^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"