Who is Seth Godin?
Seth Godin is sometimes also known as ‘the ultimate entrepreneur for the information age’. He is an American writer and has written around 17 books, addressing various aspects of marketing, advertising, business venturing and leadership. He is also a successful entrepreneur, marketer and public speaker, who became famous for public speaking when he uploaded his e-book ‘Unleashing the Ideavirus’ and made it available for the generic audience for free. He did his MBA degree from Stanford Graduate School of Business and worked as a software brand manager before he started ‘Yoyodyne’, one of the first Internet-based direct-marketing firms, with revolutionary ideas on how companies should reach their target audiences. The publicity of his firm compelled big companies like Volvo, Microsoft, Sony Music, etc. to associate with it and in a few years ‘Yahoo!’ bought the company and kept Godin on as a vice president of permission marketing. He has produced several critically acclaimed and bestselling books, including, ‘All Marketers Are Liars’, and ‘Purple Cow’, etc. He founded ‘Squidoo.com’, a website where users can share links and information about an idea or topic of their choice. He professes the idea of making information available for everyone in the world and starting a global conversation on business and marketing in which everyone from everywhere can take an active part.
Childhood & Early Years
Seth Godin was born in New York and went to the Tufts University to receive a degree in computer Science and philosophy in 1979. He went to pursue Masters in Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
His first job was as a brand manager at Spinnaker Software. He joined the company while doing his MBA. He worked there from 1983 to 1986.
In 1986, after quitting his job at the Spinnaker Software, he started his own company called Seth Godin Productions with his savings of $20,000. It started off as a book packaging business that he used to maneuver from his studio apartment in New York.
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After doing the book packaging business for a few years, he sold it to his employees and launched ‘Yoyodyne’ in 1995. The company was set to use innovative ideas to promote companies among their target audiences.
In 1996, Godin’s ‘Yoyodyne’ became big when venture-capitalfirm Flatiron Partners invested $4 million US dollars in it in return for a 20% stake. Immediately, the site gained popularity and companies like Microsoft, Sony Music, Sprint, Volvo, etc started using its services.
In 1998, he sold ‘Yoyodyne’ to ‘Yahoo!’ for $30 million US dollars after it became ground-breaking firm in providing marketing services to multinational companies and himself became Yahoo's vice president of permission marketing.
In 2000, he authored the e-book called ‘Unleashing the Ideavirus’, a book that is claimed to be the most downloaded book of all times. It was made available on the internet for free and since then the book has been translated in 10 different languages.
Godin wrote ‘Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable’ and published it in 2003. The book represented his thoughts on the relevance of creative advertising in today’s world of abundance and product clutter.
In 2004, to support the ideas he professed, Godin published the website ‘ChangeThis’ aimed at spreading ideas and viewpoints through PDF files. In the following year, it was turned over to 800-CEO-READ, a distributor of business literature in the US.
With the growing popularity of Godin’s flair for writing on marketing, he published another book ‘All Marketers are Liars’ in 2005. The book got serialized in the Fortune Magazine and made it to the Amazon Top 100 bestseller list.
Godin became more ambitious with his writing projects and edited a book called ‘The Big Moo: Stop Trying to be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable’, which included short essays on marketing by various authors, like: Tom Peters, Guy Kawasaki, etc.
He launched ‘Squidoo.com’ in 2006, a community website which allows its users to create pages for subjects of interest. The website was profiled on CNN and in the Washington Post. It soon became one of the 500 most visited websites in the world.
In 2007, Godin published ‘The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit’, the book that revolutionized the idea of ‘quitting at the right moment’. It ranked at number 5 on the New York Times Best Seller List.
Keeping up with his upbeat innovative ideas to encourage people in the field of marketing, Godin announced in a blog post that he would offer a six-month alternative MBA program at his office in New York in 2008.
In 2012, he released a manifesto on his website on ‘What do you think we ought to so about education?’ He also started a podcast on the Earwolf network, which followed him as he guided thirty aspiring entrepreneurs.
‘Yoyodyne’ made Godin rich and famous. It was the first time that any firm came up with the innovative ideas to market a product for the audience online. It was launched in 1995 and became huge when Flatiron Partners invested in it.
Godin married Helene and the couple has two sons.
Godin created a ten book series for children titled ‘Worlds of Power’, which was written by various writers and in each series a plot of a video game is explained.