Book Review - We Are All Weird by Seth Godin
I recently had the chance to read Seth Godin's latest work We Are All Weird, a small book on his view that mass marketing and mass production is dead. The replacement is "markets of one", small communities of people who are focused and passionate about things that don't fall in the center of the bell curve. The flattening of that curve means that companies have to give up the one-size-fits-all approach to their products, as normal is an illusion.
Introduction - The Pregnant Elephant; Part 1 - Capitalism, Industry and the Power of Mass - And Its Inevitable Decline; Part 2 - The Four Forces For Weird; Part 3 - The Gradual and Inexorable Spread of the Bell Curve; Postscript - Onward Toward Tribes
As with many of Godin's books, he takes one of his core messages that you find in his various writings (such as blogs and articles) and expands on it. In Weird, he shows how the Internet has allowed everyone to publish content of interest to them. This in turn allows others with the same interest to find each other and create their own mini-tribes surrounding that shared interest. Add to that his definition of rich (you have time, enough money to meet your needs, and confidence), and you have many more people who have choice, the ability to go beyond survival and follow their own interests. These interests are increasingly diverging from the masses, making people who were once considered "weird" become part of a new normalcy with others of the same bent. The ability to reach and satisfy these "weird" groups is where success lies.
Most of Godin's books tend to hit me more at an emotional rather than logical level. To say that mass marketing and mass production is dead seems to be more of an overstatement. However, it is true that outlier groups have more clout and demand more attention than they have in the past. As such, it's a good idea to not expect a single approach to marketing and products to have the same success in the past. Even though the book is only 97 pages, it feels like the message of We Are All Weird is something more suited to a longer article than a bound book. But Seth certainly doesn't follow normal convention, and he's willing to try things (including publishing) that don't conform to what's been done in the past. Godin's message is one that's worth reading and considering, especially if you want to try and stay ahead of the curve. Somewhere between "weird" and "business as usual" is where your future lies, and figuring out the location of that point for your business will dictate success and failure.
Obtained From: Amazon