guestpost by writer/editor Dave Baldwin
Seth Godin in Meatball Sundae asserts that the market demands an ontological shift in the core of a business culture if that business is to grow and adapt. In the relentlessly-changing Web 2.0 environment where an infinitude of shiny choices abound and the short attention span is king, says Godin, an organization must re-align itself from the inside out. Godin cites numerous examples of business that created not only new products and services to fit the market, but new methods of distribution, sales, and supply chain management. In other words, marketing in the Web 2.0 world is not simply a matter of uploading a few YouTube videos and then proceeding with business as usual.
It’s not Godin’s style to give direct solutions to problems or dole out patronizing step-by-step formulas. Instead, he helped me to see the real challenges I didn’t know I was facing as a solo entrepreneur more clearly and from a fresh perspective. As I read through the different stories in the book, the picture that came sharply into focus depicted a new way of doing business. I had to stop making average stuff for average people. In my case, I had to stop trying to be an average writer for an average client.
Against conventional logic, I immediately abandoned my only steady income stream and set to work on what would be my first full-length book, Pied Piper Entrepreneurship. I did this because Godin had made it crystal clear that I needed to honor my core strengths and talents that made me remarkable as a human being. I saw that if I really wanted the marketplace to take my gifts seriously, I needed to start taking them seriously myself. Within days after I started to do this, the phone rang with a new project that replaced my old job in one fell swoop. It was as if the stars winked at me. That was a good day.
I could fill a volume with the insights that I gleaned from reading Meatball Sundae, but I’ll just list a few here.
1. Listening to what people are saying online is 100 times more important than broadcasting information about what you’re selling.
2. Assume that someone is reading and remembering every single word you write online.
3. Stop looking for communities with the most people, and start engaging communities where the right people congregate. This applies online and offline.
4. If you’re having to work hard to get people to pay attention to something, try just doing something else instead.
Meatball Sundae is a fast and fun read. Go pick up a copy today. You’ll be glad you did.
Dave Baldwin is a freelance writer and editor in Raleigh, NC. Baldwin has written three books, including Get That Book Out of Your Head.