Seth Godin on the New Fundamental Shift

In this ten-minute video, best-selling author Seth Godin talks about a fundamental shift in today’s business world that includes marketing, social media and a move toward openness. He says: “You are going to have to change if you want to be there too.”

Yahoo! Futurist: Seth Godin


Some food for thought. A quick summary:

  1. Marketing needs to be responsible for the product.
  2. You need to measure interaction.
  3. The only asset that gets built online is permission to talk to people.

I wonder about the first point and how it can be applied to a law firm? I almost think it needs to be turned on its end; instead of making the marketers in charge of the product, perhaps those in charge of the work product should be doing the marketing and (along with it) the listening to the clients. What do you think?
Some additional points he made on innovation:

  1. Innovation is an invitation to failure.
  2. Innovation requires solving an interesting problem.

He says that innovation takes place only if these two factors are in place. In other words, there has to be a problem to solve and the organization (or individual) has to prepare for failed attempts before having success.What do you think of Seth Godin’s discussion? Anything that strikes you as particular relevant or irrelevant for the legal industry?

Hat tip to Mitch Joel for a link to the video.


  1. One part of Godin’s video that stood out to me in particular was his advice that we should ask ourselves whether or not what we are producing in needed by others. If followed, I believe this recommendation can help individuals push past their own individual aspirations and consider the impact they have on their respective communities.

    This mental process relates to the legal industry because it pushes lawyers to define their societal role and decide whether or not they are fulfilling their duties.

    In the end, I believe that Godin’s most important point is that innovation, whether in law or any other field, should not be pursued for its own sake. Instead, we must direct our efforts towards creating solutions for important problems that face our communities.

  2. Connie, I understand your point about product/marketing, and I think that basically Seth agrees. He says “The product is the marketing.” What he stresses when he talks about the marketing people, is that they want an improved product, a good product, right? I suppose the innovation is that “producers” — lawyers — have to listen carefully and responsively to the folks who tell them what people want, people he’s calling “marketers.”

    Evan, I don’t think that’s the point Seth is making about innovation. It’s hard to tell: he only gives it a couple of lines at the very end. But it would seem to me to be wrong to treat innovation in a purely instrumental way, i.e. to solve a problem. I think that great things happen when people innovate freely for the sake of it. And if we do it only in response to what we see as problems, we’ll simply get stuck in yesterday’s business. I agree, of course, that change for the sake of change isn’t a good thing (usually). But freeing up creativity? Always a good thing.