TED2009: Seth Godin


Author and marketing consultant Seth Godin is on stage at TED2009. His new book is called Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us.

He's talking about how we are in a key moment in the way we make change. Here's a short history of how people have made changes:

1. Build a factory — Henry Ford comes up with a cool idea. Enables him to come up with a way to hire men who were making 50 cents a day and give them five dollars a day. But we are running out of ever cheaper labor and ever faster machines

2. Use mass marketing — If you buy enough ads you can win. If I buy enough ads I can win. Hypnotizing everyone to buy your product does not work.

3. Tribes – Connecting people and ideas. They've been around: Work tribes, community tribes. The Internet enables silos of tribes. People on the fringes can find each other connect, and go somewhere.

What we do for a living is find something worth changing and assemble a tribe. When Al Gore set out to chage the world again. He did it by creating a movement – thousands of people who can do his presentation for him. He quotes Kevin Kelly, you just need a thousand true fans. Telling a story to people who want to hear it. Assembling a tribe of true fans. People want the connections to each other.

Heretics looks at the status quo and says "this I can not stand. Instead of being a 'sheepwalker' every once in a while someone stands up and says 'not me'"

Example — guy who started a show company. If you buy a pair, the company gives an identical pair to someone who can't afford shoes. When you buys those shoes, you also buy a story you can tell, and others will join that tribe of people who can tell that story.

His challenge: "It only takes 24 hours. Create a movement. Start it. We need it."