- Hardcover: 112 pages
- Publisher: The Domino Project (2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1936719223
- ISBN-13: 978-1936719228
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 154 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #490,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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We Are All Weird Hardcover – 2011
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"This is a book about giving a damn. It’s about caring about what you do and (as important) who you do it for. Professional apathy is a relic of a dead era and, as Seth teaches brilliantly, a mentality you cling to at great peril. Everyone with a pulse and a paycheck should be living We Are All Weird."
—Chris Taylor, founder, ActionableBooks.com
"This book will resonate with anyone who wants to lead a tribe, be authentic, dance to the beat of their own music, and make a difference in the world. If your inner critic (the resistance) has been telling you that you are not enough, your work is not good enough, and who do you think you are to make a difference, then buy this book. Let your freak flag fly high!"
—Sherold Barr, master coach + freedom fighter
"Seth has done it again. Open this book to almost any page. Read it, and change your thinking, your work, your life, or better express your art. Weird how he does this, isn’t it?"
—Rob Berkley, executive coach, VisionDay.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Seth Godin is the author of twelve bestselling books, a popular blogger and a successful entrepreneur. His books have been translated into more than 35 languages. He founded Squidoo.com, one of the hundred most popular websites in the United States. Godin has been a columnist for Fast Company and the Harvard Business Review and has given thousands of keynote speeches for companies, governments and non-profit organizations. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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He summarizes well the theme of this book on page 4: "The epic battle of our generation is between the status quo of the mass, and the never-ceasing tide of weird." This emphasis on the end of the efficacy of mass marketing builds upon his earlier book "Tribes." I recently reviewed a book by Sebastian Junger called "Tribe," in which the author makes a similar point about the role of tribe and close tribal relationships in engendering emotional health and healing from short term PTSD for warriors. Tribal dynamics apply to the field of warfare, and to the field of business. And the growing awareness of our need to identify and utilize the power of small tribes stands in sharp contradistinction to the traditional American ethos of independence and individualism.
Advances in technology, marketing, manufacturing, communication, and distribution now make it easy for any enterprising person or company to offer their unique services and goods to small niche markets of tribal members who appreciate something that is not geared for the unwashed masses. This is true of the commodities we buy, the foods we eat, the hobbies we enjoy, the politics we embrace, and the lifestyle we choose to pursue. Godin's book is a manifesto to push the envelope as far in the direction of tribal and weird as one dares to go.
It is the end of mass marketing, mass production, mass communication as we have know it. In a sense, Seth is saying, with a smile on his face and a glint in his eye: "Go in peace. The mass is ended."!
He traces history of normalcy and weirdness. Before specialization, people couldn't be as weird because they had to spend time on surviving. Mass marketing through things like 3 TV channels made it easy to promote one way of being. Standardized industrialization made it profitable to encourage everyone to be the same – then you could sell to everyone. People internalize this, and a culture of normalcy became self perpetuating.
Today, we're seeing a massive increase in weirdness. People are richer now than before, so we can spend time and money and niche things unrelated to survival. The internet lets us find communities (and products) that validate our weird quirks, which makes us more comfortable being weird. The internet and other technologies allow everyday people to produce unique things rather than only allowing big organizations to produce things (which happen to be standard). Also, weird people are a good market because they're obsessed about their particular niche.
Now, we don't have a cultural center that unifies us. We're all weird.
I thought that most of the book accurately described our current epoch. However, there was little attempt to describe why people are weird. That is, the book assumes that people, as unique individuals, are very different from one another and that it is unnatural, external limitations (factories, mass media) that encourage normalcy. From what I have seen, people are mostly the same, and the few differences that are there are superficial. People believe in difference because we, culturally, place a large value on individualism and because certain people want to create different niche markets.
My other problem with the book is that there wasn't much attention paid to ethics. There are people who are exploited. There are injustices. Ethics is a fairly normalizing force – if people generally believe that hate crimes are wrong, then few people will commit hate crimes against others, and weirdness (committing hate crimes) is strongly discouraged with cultural outrage and with legal punishment. Certainly, that ethic should be compatible with pluralism (the ethic should accept that people are different from one another), but that is different from moral relativism (not that Godin advocates relativism).
My concern is that when people focus on what makes them unique, they lose track of what keeps us together. When I was enamored with postmodern philosophy in high school, I read philosophers who were skeptical of large, homogenizing structures. In debate in general, students grow accustomed to advocating issues from many sides, and they often don't develop a strong opinion about what they believe or what might be the real truth of the issue. I think that people need to know what they believe and stick to it, and I think that people need to believe in some of the big things that keep us together.
This book is well written, a quick read, and does a great job explaining the shifting markets. Where it falls short, however, is in offering any sort of applicable advice. The only practical advice that this book offers is "buy weird stuff so they'll keep making it." As for advice to marketers, there is none. What Godin says in 100 pages could have been cut in half. It gets a little repetitive. Without solid advice (and I'm not looking for a formula or a set of rules, because I understand that isn't the point), it seems to repeat itself.
We Are All Weird is an essential book for understanding the growth of Indie and niche markets. However, I might have gleaned the same value from Godin's interview about the book with Duct Tape Marketing (podcast).
Most recent customer reviews
In this book, Seth overlaps two seemingly polar opposite concepts.Read more