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

« Pre-steal this book | Main | Warning: The internet is almost full »

Lesson learned from my biggest business mistake

My biggest mistake (at least in terms of income avoided) was not believing in the world wide web in 1994.

It's not like I didn't know about it. I had written a book called "Best of the Net". I'd even written the cover story for some now-defunct magazine on how to surf the internet. But in those days, the Net referred to Archie and Veronica and the online services... there was no real browser, no search engines to speak of, just a bunch of conferences and some guys in the Valley.

Not only did I ignore it, I actively ignored it. I didn't register hundreds of domain names or build out the website for Yoyodyne beyond much of a placeholder. Instead of expanding my online game show/promotions company into the web, we focused on Microsoft's Chicago service and Apple's eWorld. Sigh.

Instead of building a search engine, I wrote a book called The Smiley Dictionary. Earnings to date: $10,000 or so.

I'm going into all this painful detail to let you know what an idiot I was. How many clues were just sitting there, how much access I had, how deliberate I was in ignoring them.

Why?

I think the answer is simple: Because the rules of this new business didn't match the rules of my existing business.

Businesses live in ecosystems. A series of rules and assumptions that, taken together, make a thriving mechanism

Example: The oil ecosystem involves prospecting, drilling, transporting, refining, etc. If you don't understand the role of automobiles or plastics in the oil industry, then you don't understand the industry. You don't 'get it.' On the other hand, if you understand the ecosystem of automobiles and of oil, then the ecosystem of windmills on homes and hydrogen in cars may be just too weird to grasp.

The ecosystem of the worldwide web was just being filled in. It had some assumptions clearly laid out (no money to view the content) and some waiting to be sketched in (can attention turn into cash?). But for someone in the business of selling books and internet content, this seemed impossible. Different rules, rules I didn't understand and couldn't accept.

And that's where we get stuck. We get stuck because we believe that the rules of our ecosystem are permanent and transferable. In fact, they are almost always temporary and rarely transferable.

My approach now is simple: take a look at the rules of the new ecosystem. Do they make sense? Is it possible they'll come to pass? If they do, what happens to you?

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b31569e20105364a7ce5970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Lesson learned from my biggest business mistake:

» A Failure of Imagination from Next Level Blog
In his latest post, Seth Godin writes about the economic opportunities he missed out on in the early days of the Internet. He recounts that he didn’t just ignore the Web, he actively ignored it and spent his time writing... [Read More]

» How To Make A Mess Of YourCareer. from Tim's Blog
Most people see their lives as one long storyline. You start out life, shes in mid-life, his life ended. Most people see their careers the same way and it gives a nice linear perspective to how things s... [Read More]

« Pre-steal this book | Main | Warning: The internet is almost full »