TED conference presentations – Seth Godin (2003)

Interesting presentation on our current 1st world environment where we so many options and very little time relative to those options. In terms of advertising, the majority of people are tuning out the majority of the advertisements. Which in a world where what he calls "idea diffusion" is key to success (and I think he argues is the metric of success in general) getting people to pay attention is the hardest part. He claims that you need "remarkable" products and advertising – not necessairly the best.
* Remarkable – worth making comment on
* Basically the idea business needs to learn to position and act like the fashion industry does
* Market to those who care about your product (the okatu, or fanatics) and not the the masses – the masses will ignore you. Get the fanatics and they will trickle into the masses. I think we call this the "halo effect" as well.
* Don’t be safe. Being safe will kill your business because people won’t care about your product. Without an emotional connection to your product or company you’ve only got price to compete on.
* He uses the example of a purple cow – nobody over the age of 6 points out a cow by the side of the road, but everyone will point out a purple cow.
I’m not sure that simply being remarkable in the "look at me, I’m different" is sufficient to business success, but in terms advertising and marketing, he’s got a point. I’ve tuned out all advertising for large categories of products: cars, beer, pain releivers, etc. Every time I see one of those, that’s money poorly spent by that company because I’m not really reachable, regardless of how cool, clever, interesting their advertisement is. I’ve chosen to elminate those choice spaces in my life to protect my time as Godin claims that we all are doing because we have so many choices and so little time.

If I do get into product definition, I’ll be sure to check out some of his books as it seems like he’s onto some good ideas.