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We Are All Weird by [Seth Godin]
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We Are All Weird Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 218 ratings

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Kindle, September 14, 2014
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Book Description: We Are All Weird is a celebration of choice, of treating different people differently and of embracing the notion that everyone deserves the dignity and respect that comes from being heard. The book calls for end of mass and for the beginning of offering people more choices, more interests and giving them more authority to operate in ways that reflect their own unique values.

For generations, marketers, industrialists and politicians have tried to force us into little boxes, complying with their idea of what we should buy, use or want. And in an industrial, mass-market driven world, this was efficient and it worked. But what we learned in this new era is that mass limits our choice because it succeeds on conformity.

As Godin has identified, a new era of weirdness is upon us. People with more choices, more interests and the power to do something about it are stepping forward and insisting that the world work in a different way. By enabling choice we allow people to survive and thrive.
Jacqueline Novogratz Reviews We Are All Weird

Jacqueline Novogratz is founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, a non-profit global venture capital fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty. Acumen Fund has invested over $50 million of patient capital in 50 businesses that have impacted more than 40 million people in the past year alone. Any money returned to Acumen Fund is reinvested in enterprises serving the poor. Currently, Acumen has offices in New York, Mumbai, Karachi, and Nairobi. Read her guest review of Seth Godin's We Are All Weird:

Seth Godin's latest book We Are All Weird is a song of freedom, an exuberant manifesto with the richness of choice that comes with wealth, the markets, the internet, our increasing connection with one another across the globe. He argues that the era of mass marketing is over (thankfully) and that as humans we seek not just to consume but to "connect," and therefore we find those who love what we love and, when it works best, create or join "tribes." We are allowed, indeed, encouraged to be individuals, to specialize rather than fit in or be "normal" and this is where richness begins. As Seth says, "Stuff is not the point." Connection, choice, pursuing what we love is.

Seth has advised the organization I founded, Acumen Fund, for many years. He constantly reminds us to be unafraid to focus on a small group of believers who make the choice to opt-in; and I can see that lesson elucidated brilliantly in We Are All Weird. We have the extraordinary luxury of choice and, for the most part, of doing what we want to do. How we use that choice to make the lives of others around us the richer for being connected to us is critical to Seth's evolving understanding of marketing and creating systems that release rather than stifle our energies—regardless of who we are, where we live, or what language we may speak. Read this book slowly and read it again for the lessons are rich and wise. I couldn't feel prouder to be a part of Seth's tribe.

--Jacqueline Novogratz


--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

INTRODUCTION: THE PREGNANT ELEPHANT

 

Ad legend Linda Kaplan Thaler tells the story of a zoo in Belgium, down on its luck. The crowds had stopped coming.

With the emergence of so many alternative amusements, diversions, and novelties, the zoo had fallen on hard times. Attendance was down, but the animals still needed to get fed.

Then their elephant got pregnant.

Alert ad agency geniuses leapt into action. They put a sonogram of the baby elephant on YouTube. They ran polls and contests (girl or boy?). Attention was paid. Hoopla was generated. The zoo was back on track, and attendance climbed.

The elephant gave the zoo its mass back. Mass reach, mass excitement, mass crowds. An apparent triumph for new media.

The story is told because it harks back to a happier time, to an era when ad agencies could easily do what they were paid to do: get the attention of the public. It reminds us that our economy is built on the back of mass, on public amusements, on factories organized to create widgets or services or entertainment for anyone (and everyone) with money to spend.

Marketers can be forgiven their nostalgia. Mass is no longer a scalable, predictable way to engage with the public. Success like the zoo’s is rare (because pregnant elephants are an oddity). From now on, mass market success will be the exception, the black swan.

Mass is dead. Here comes weird.

Mass, Normal, Weird, and Rich

This is a book about four words and how the revolution we’re living through demands we change our understanding of what they mean.

MASS is what allowed us to become efficient. Mass marketing and mass production and mass compliance to the rules of society have defined us. Mass is what we call the undifferentiated, the easily reached majority that seeks to conform and survive.

NORMAL is what we call people in the middle. Normal describes and catalogs the defining characteristics of the masses. Normal is localized—being a vegetarian is weird in Kansas but normal in Mumbai. What’s normal here is not what’s normal there. Finding and amplifying normal is essential to anyone who traffics in mass. Over time, marketers have made normal a moral and cultural standard, not just a statistical one.

WEIRD is what we call people who aren’t normal. Your appearance or physical affect might be unusual by nature or by birth, but, like me, you’re probably mostly weird by choice. Different by nature isn’t your choice, and it’s not my focus here. Weird by choice, on the other hand, flies in the face of the culture of mass and the checklist of normal. I’m interested in this sort of weird, people who have chosen to avoid conforming to the masses, at least in some parts of their lives.

RICH is my word for someone who can afford to make choices, who has enough resources to do more than merely survive. You don’t need a private plane to be rich, but you do need enough time and food and health and access to be able to interact with the market for stuff and for ideas.

The swami I met in a small village in India is rich. Not because he has a fancy house or a car (he doesn’t). He’s rich because he can make choices and he can make an impact on his tribe. Not just choices about what to buy, but choices about how to live.

• • •

Human beings prefer to organize in tribes, into groups of people who share a leader or a culture or a definition of normal. And the digital revolution has enabled and amplified these tribes, leaving us with millions of silos, groups of people who respect and admire and support choices that outsiders happily consider weird, but that those of us in the tribe realize are normal (our normal).

My argument is that the choice to push all of us toward a universal normal merely to help sell more junk to the masses is both inefficient and wrong. The opportunity of our time is to support the weird, to sell to the weird, and, if you wish, to become weird.

The Battle of Our Time

It’s not between men and women . . .

or the left and the right . . .

or even between the Yankees and the Red Sox.

The epic battle of our generation is between the status quo of mass and the never-ceasing tide of weird.

It’s difficult to not pick sides. Either you’ll want to spend your time and effort betting on mass and the status quo—and trying to earn your spot in this crowded mob—or you’ll abandon that quest and realize that there are better opportunities and more growth if you market to and lead the weird.

Two decisions you’ll need to make within the hour:

1. Do you want to create for and market to and embrace the fast-increasing population that isn’t normal? In other words, which side are you on—fighting for the status quo or rooting for weird?

and

2. Are you confident enough to encourage people to do what’s right and useful and joyful, as opposed to what the system has always told them they have to do? Should we make our own choices and let others make theirs?

PART 1: CAPITALISM, INDUSTRY, AND THE POWER OF MASS—AND ITS INEVITABLE DECLINE

It’s not an accident that our instincts, expectations, and biases are organized around honoring the masses. We shun the outliers, train students to conform, and reward companies that create historically efficient mass market products.

 

The Mass Market Redefines Normal

The mass market—which made average products for average people—was invented by organizations that needed to keep their factories and systems running efficiently.

Stop for a second and think about the backward nature of that sentence.

The factory came first. It led to the mass market. Not the other way around.

Governments went first, because it’s easier to dominate and to maintain order if you can legislate and control conformity. Marketers, though, took this concept and ran with it.

The typical institution (an insurance company, a record label, a bed factory) just couldn’t afford mass customization, couldn’t afford to make a different product for every user. The mind-set was: This is the Eagles’ next record. We need to make it a record that the masses will buy, because otherwise it won’t be a hit and the masses will buy something else.

This assumption seems obvious—so obvious that you probably never realized that it is built into everything we do. The mass market is efficient and profitable, and we live in it. It determines not just what we buy, but what we want, how we measure others, how we vote, how we have kids, and how we go to war. It’s all built on this idea that everyone is the same, at least when it comes to marketing (and marketing is everywhere, isn’t it?).

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00NLPJBJM
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ The Domino Project (September 14, 2014)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ September 14, 2014
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 357 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 114 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 218 ratings

Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
218 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on May 11, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on July 31, 2013
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tallmanbaby
3.0 out of 5 stars one of his weaker efforts
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 16, 2014
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Marcia
4.0 out of 5 stars We ARE all weird? No we CAN all be true individuals.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 26, 2013
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Kindle Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars I see what it sets out to do, but I don't think it got there.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 29, 2013
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Liam Delahunty
1.0 out of 5 stars Appalling waste of money
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 30, 2013
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 13, 2015
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