Thursday, May 11, 2017
Review of "We Are All Weird" by Seth Godin - The Myth of Mass and the End of Compliance
I am a huge fan of Seth Godin and the wisdom that he freely shares so prolifically. I make it a priority to read each of his books, as well as his daily e-mail messages. I have attended several of his live presentations. I always walk away from a Seth Godin encounter both challenged and energized. I read "We Are All Weird" a while ago, but am just getting around to sharing my thoughts on this little gem.
He summarizes well the theme of this book on page 4: "The epic battle of our generation is between the status quo of the mass, and the never-ceasing tide of weird." This emphasis on the end of the efficacy of mass marketing builds upon his earlier book "Tribes." I recently reviewed a book by Sebastian Junger called "Tribe," in which the author makes a similar point about the role of tribe and close tribal relationships in engendering emotional health and healing from short term PTSD for warriors. Tribal dynamics apply to the field of warfare, and to the field of business. And the growing awareness of our need to identify and utilize the power of small tribes stands in sharp contradistinction to the traditional American ethos of independence and individualism.
Advances in technology, marketing, manufacturing, communication, and distribution now make it easy for any enterprising person or company to offer their unique services and goods to small niche markets of tribal members who appreciate something that is not geared for the unwashed masses. This is true of the commodities we buy, the foods we eat, the hobbies we enjoy, the politics we embrace, and the lifestyle we choose to pursue. Godin's book is a manifesto to push the envelope as far in the direction of tribal and weird as one dares to go.
It is the end of mass marketing, mass production, mass communication as we have know it. In a sense, Seth is saying, with a smile on his face and a glint in his eye: "Go in peace. The mass is ended."!