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altmba

SETH'S BOOKS

Seth Godin has written 18 bestsellers that have been translated into 35 languages

The complete list of online retailers

Bonus stuff!

or click on a title below to see the list

alt.mba

altMBA

An intensive, 4-week online workshop designed to accelerate leaders to become change agents for the future. Designed by Seth Godin, for you.

ONLINE:

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




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« Tactics without strategy is a scrum | Main | "You were right all along" »

The problem with forced rankings

What's the best college in the US?

What about the best car?

Best stereo speakers? Best pizza?

The answer is always the same: It depends.

People hate that. "It depends" puts you on the hook, requires you to have priorities and a point of view. 

A forced ranking is freeing. It tells you exactly what to expect, and if things don't work out, well, blame the system. A forced ranking brings status along with it, because, apparently, if you care enough or are rich enough to have the best, then you must be the best.

When we compress 100 variables into just one linear measure, we add enormous amounts of editorial tweaking and lose a ton of nuance. If you want to study aeronautical engineering, Harvard isn't going to be a good choice. If you're gluten-free or diabetic, that pizza place might not work out so well for you. And if your definition of a good car includes safety, fuel efficiency or the ability to move your family around, that McLaren isn't going to make you happy.

Forced rankings abandon multiple variables, and they magnify differences that aren't statistically significant. "Well, there has to be one winner," they say, but of course, this isn't true. It's not a linear race, and the very concept of a single winner is forced.

When the US News college list started to get traction, plenty of college presidents spoke out in opposition. Over time, though, they discovered that being well ranked was profitable, and in an industry that touches billions of dollars a year, status leads to money and money leads to more status... Today, many colleges are intentionally gaming the system by changing what they originally stood for simply to move up. 

High rankings do more than distort the behavior of those that seek to move up. High rankings attract the sort of people who don't want to discover their own 'best'. Who want to be around others that care about high rankings. Who will run to the next high rank the moment the world changes. And those that are attracted to the winner of a forced ranking change the very tenor of the place they chose. So now, that restaurant that used to be special is merely crowded. Now the company that only keeps its top performers is a horrible place to work.

The biggest problem with a forced ranking is that it's forced.

« Tactics without strategy is a scrum | Main | "You were right all along" »