Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why I Don't Want to Be Seth Godin

Seth Godin is an innovative guy. He's out in front on trends; he's a disruptive thinker; his blog is one of the most consistently inspiring things I have the pleasure of reading.

I like Seth Godin (at least Seth Godin the brand), but I wouldn't want to be Seth Godin.

Why? Precisely because now that Seth Godin the guy is Seth Godin the brand, Seth Godin always has to be Seth Godin. The guy always has to be the brand.

There's a bunch of buzz today because Seth Godin has decided he will no longer publish books in the traditional way -- no more publisher. As some of the tweets put it: "Seth Godin believes in his brand and he's betting everything on it."

Cool. I'm sure he'll succeed.

But how exhausting to be him. What if he did want to do something in the traditional way? Could he? Or is the expectation that he'll always be The Innovator?

"Dude, Seth. You eat Skippy peanut butter?"
"I do," says Seth, putting the finishing touches on his PB&J. A final swipe of the knife, then he presses the slices of white bread together, takes a bite and smiles a sticky smile.
"I would have thought you'd get yours hand pressed or flown in or something."
"I don't".
"But tell me you eat Amazon basin palm nut spread!"
"I like peanut butter."
And then the fan boy bursts into flame.

If you're Seth Godin the brand, do you ever get to relax and just be Seth Godin the guy?

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