Don't Miss a Thing
Free Updates by Email

Enter your email address


preview  |  powered by FeedBlitz

RSS Feeds

Share |

Facebook: Seth's Facebook
Twitter: @thisissethsblog

Search

Google


WWW SETH'S BLOG

SETH'S BOOKS

Seth Godin has written 12 bestsellers that have been translated into 33 languages

The complete list of online retailers

Bonus stuff!

or click on a title below to see the list

all.marketers.tell.stories

All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

free.prize.inside

Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

linchpin

Linchpin

An instant bestseller, the book that brings all of Seth's ideas together.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

meatball.sundae

Meatball Sundae

Why the internet works (and doesn't) for your business. And vice versa.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

permission.marketing

Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

poke.the.box

Poke The Box

The latest book, Poke The Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

purple.cow

Purple Cow

The worldwide bestseller. Essential reading about remarkable products and services.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

small.is.the.new.big

Small is the New Big

A long book filled with short pieces from Fast Company and the blog. Guaranteed to make you think.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

survival.is.not.enough

Survival is Not Enough

Seth's worst seller and personal favorite. Change. How it works (and doesn't).

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.big.moo

The Big Moo

All for charity. Includes original work from Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters and Promise Phelon.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.big.red.fez

The Big Red Fez

Top 5 Amazon ebestseller for a year. All about web sites that work.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.dip

The Dip

A short book about quitting and being the best in the world. It's about life, not just marketing.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.icarus.deception

The Icarus Deception

Seth's most personal book, a look at the end of the industrial economy and what happens next.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

tribes

Tribes

"Book of the year," a perennial bestseller about leading, connecting and creating movements.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

unleashing.the.ideavirus

Unleashing the Ideavirus

More than 3,000,000 copies downloaded, perhaps the most important book to read about creating ideas that spread.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

v.is.for.vulnerable

V Is For Vulnerable

A short, illustrated, kids-like book that takes the last chapter of Icarus and turns it into something worth sharing.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

we.are.all.weird

We Are All Weird

The end of mass and how you can succeed by delighting a niche.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

whatcha.gonna.do.with.that.duck

Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

The sequel to Small is the New Big. More than 600 pages of the best of Seth's blog.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:


THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin




All Marketers Are Liars Blog




Blog powered by TypePad
Member since 08/2003

« Did Google buy the network of networks? | Main | 50,000 (twice) »

The chicken and the egg

I was riffing with someone about an idea last week and I told him he had the, "chicken and an egg problem." It seemed like he knew what I meant, and I thought I knew what I meant, but I've since decided it's worth a few paragraphs.

The quick background is that chicken and egg is a cliche for a (false) conundrum: which came first? [it's false because the egg came first... the only thing a chicken can come out of is a chicken egg, while something that's not quite a chicken yet could lay a real chicken egg... sorry to digress].

When a business is described as a chicken and egg problem business, we're going back to the cliff. The only reason people want to use it is that other people are already using it! In other words, no one wants to go first.

  • No student would take the SAT unless they knew that colleges were requiring it. And no college would require it unless they knew students would take it.
  • No cool person wants to go to a nightclub unless they know that a lot of cool people will be there. But of course, cool people don't want to go unless they know that the other cool people are coming.
  • A fax machine with no one to fax to isn't worth buying.

There are countless innovations that would make our world a better place (and would make you a wealthy marketer). The problem with almost all of them is that getting from here to there is almost impossible. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try, but it does mean you should count on failing. Sure, every once in a while an eBay happens. But for every business that solves the chicken/egg problem, there are thousands that fail (insert dead chicken/broken egg joke here).

In almost every case I can think of, the problem isn't solved by fixing a big industry. It's just too hard to get all the big players to change at once. Instead, the problem is solved in a tiny industry (college admissions a hundred years ago) and then the industry grows around it. So, if you've got a breakthrough for the big guys, watch out.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b31569e200d83461d65a69e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The chicken and the egg:

» Being First Isn't Cool from Solutions to Grow Your Business
When I worked at a major utility, the CFO was famous for saying, I never want to be first to the market with anything. I first heard him say it more than a decade ago, but it resonates loudly within my deepest parts. Seth Godin refers to this concept u... [Read More]

» Chicken - egg problem solved? from RaSchi's Valhalla
Seth claims that the chicken - egg problem (you know, the question which was first) is actually not a problem at all: The quick background is that chicken and egg is a cliche for a (false) conundrum: which came first? [its false because the egg ... [Read More]

» Chickens, Eggs, and Refinancing from Daniel Crenna's Blog
This is part one in an exciting two-part series on how Seth Godin’s latest riff on “cliff” businesses is particularly true in the entrepreneurial software developer’s dirt nook.Me: “I would like to consolidate my student debt, please.” Banker: “You’ve ... [Read More]

» Chickens, Eggs, and Software Start-Ups from Daniel Crenna's Blog
This is part two in an exciting two-part series on how Seth Godin’s latest riff on “cliff” businesses is particularly true in the entrepreneurial software developer’s dirt nook.Me: “I have an idea for a breakthrough piece of software.”Banker: “Excellen... [Read More]

» Seth Godin: the chicken or the egg problem from The Business Innovation Insider
Any new product or service ultimately faces some version of the "chicken-or-the-egg" problem - getting users to embrace a product or service when nobody else is using it. For example, Microsoft is facing a version of the problem with the introduction o... [Read More]

» The Chicken And The Egg In Business Ideas from Caffeine Marketing: Daily Marketing News
Seth Godin has an interesting post on the chicken and the egg problem many business owners face. I want to reflect and expand a little on the theory Seth was talking about. The problem with most businesses is the chicken and egg p... [Read More]

» Cold Start (or the Chicken Egg problem) from MyPunchblog
Seth Godin wrote an interesting post today about what he calls a Chicken and Egg problem business. I recognized the problem as one we talk about at MyPunchbowl as the Cold Start problem. For us, its about how (with ou... [Read More]

» It's Brie Time, Baby from Episteme - Belief. Knowledge. Wisdom.
Seth had a great post about How Marketers Really Think recently, where he quoted the entire "7 Minute Abs" scene from "There's Something About Mary".... [Read More]

« Did Google buy the network of networks? | Main | 50,000 (twice) »