Godin is something of a character, a marketing guy who sells a ton of books largely by feeding people recycled common sense. I met him last year and asked him about that — why people perpetually want to be told things they already know. I thought he had an interesting answer, and I’m glad I finally have a chance to share it:
There are no facts you need to buy a business book for. Facts are all for free now on Wikipedia. Facts are everywhere. A business book is a talisman, it’s a souvenir of the idea. It gives you permission to do two things. One, believe in something you wanted to believe in in the first place. And two, have a conversation about it. So the difference between me and, I don’t know, Dale Carnegie is Dale Carnegie spoke to people, and what I think I do for a living is help people have a conversation and leave me out of it. So if I can call a remarkable product that stands out a “purple cow,” now in two words you can say something to someone else and you both know the shortcut. You can both talk about it.
In case you want to know what Godin looks like, here’s a picture of his action figure (I told you he was a marketing guy):
And here is a picture of Godin introducing himself to my Jack Bogle bobblehead:
And on that note, I’m guessing Justin will be along any minute to reclaim his blog.
This has been so much fun, you guys. One thing I don’t like about working at a big publication is that I usually feel so far away from my audience. It has been such a treat to be able to have a back-and-forth with such smart readers. Curious Capitalist comment posters are the best!
This whole blogging thing has also been a lot of work, much more than I thought it would be. So if you’d indulge me for just a moment, I’d like to say thanks to the people who helped me over the past week, especially with the technology end of things. Thank you Malik, Caitlin, Feilding, Vanessa, Lon, Jackson, Beatriz, Mark and Xtium’s IT wizards.
Most of all, though, thanks Justin! I’m sorry I didn’t have more to say about Danish taxation and Dutch pop culture, but the good news is that I dug up the paper that went with that Johns Hopkins Provost’s Undergraduate Research Award you mentioned when you introduced me. Now everybody can read all about the fascinating place that is Salisbury, Maryland here. Just watch out, it’s a PDF!