I’ve been reading Seth Godin since his second book Unleashing the Idea Virus 2001. Linchpin is his most personal book to date. In it he describes our current economic transformation from an individual’s viewpoint. Think of it as a pep talk for Purple Cows or a kick in the ass for the rest of the herd.
I’ve always thought of Godin as a marketing guy for the rest of us. Idea Virus explained viral marketing, Purple Cow outlined market differentiation just as his others made marketing ideas clear and accessible. Permission Marketing was a breakthrough since he was ahead of the curve and brought more new ideas to market with that book.
In Linchpin, Godin defines art as “The intentional act of connecting with someone else and changing them.” While this might not be what many think of as art, it is a great definition when referring to the art of doing. And really, is there any other kind? I suppose there is the art of thinking but doing gets more results.
This is by far my favorite of his issues probably because in Linchpin, Godin covers nearly every point in the Permission To Suck Manifesto starting with number 1:
1) Snub expectations. Excitement needs space; throw a few elbows if required. Picasso’s friend and art critic, Guillaume Apollinaire, encouraged his cohorts to “innovate violently! Much more risky for creative professionals, is to abide by rules.
Translated to words closer to his in Linchpin: To follow rules is to be a factory worker which these days is very risky since our factories are dying.