Seth Godin Interview

Interview with Seth Godin on Life and Linchpins

by sscheper on February 24, 2010

About Seth Godin

In brief, Seth Godin is a bestselling author, entrepreneur and agent of change. Godin is the author of ten books that have been bestsellers around the world. His most recent title is Linchpin, which fills itself with lessons of art, indispensability and the concept of your lizard brain . He blogs here, and spearheads a social tribe community called Squidoo. In the interview below we take a look into Seth’s thoughts on purpose, focus, writing and linchpins.

What’s your story?

My story, and I’m sticking to it, is that I write about the end of an era and the revolutionary beginning of another. I talk about ideas that spread, treating people with respect and doing work that matters. My purpose is to leverage the opportunity and the audience I have to create the most impact and community good I can find.

In your speech at the St. Regis, you spoke about Twitter and how there’s a lot of noise, but the challenge is uncovering the signal. How do you personally use Twitter?

I don’t use Twitter. I’m not able to do it well and continue to do the rest of my life. I think that being picky about your inputs and outputs, while seeking out challenges you have the resources to complete… these are difficult decisions but important ones.

You also spoke of Lulu for self publishing books. Why didn’t you go this route? Where do you think the publishing industry is heading?

My point is that there is no barrier to publishing a book any longer. You don’t need anyone’s permission. On the other hand, if one of the four biggest publishers in the US offers to pay for the chance to distribute and promote your book as a lead title, why not take it? My publisher offers me resources that would be difficult to risk on my own, and in exchange, they keep most of the upside. Since my goal is to spread ideas, not maximize income, it makes sense.

Stephen King has a writing routine he lives by. He writes first thing in the morning for 3-4 hours, then puts the pen down and enjoys the day. What is your writing routine like?

I enjoy the day first, and write whenever writing helps me enjoy the day more!

Any other competing titles to Linchpin?

The original title was the Chef, the Cook and the Bottlewasher. It’s self explanatory but a little limiting.

How do you prevent yourself from getting distracted by social media?

I’ve had ADD my whole life, and so my real job is that I’m a professional at not getting distracted. The rest of my life is easy compared to the hard work of not getting waylaid by inbound interruptions.

Describe your office arrangements

I do my thinking in my head (it’s easier that way) so wherever I am, that’s my office.

Any underrated Linchpins in your life?

Most of my readers. I couldn’t do it without them.

Coffee or tea person?

No caffeine for the last ten years. I only have two speeds, and the third speed, on caffeine, is not a pretty one.

Favorite Gadgets that help you get focused?

Big pads. Different ones all the time. Grease pencils.

Any favorite web or mobile apps for getting focused?

At Squidoo we use Basecamp a lot. It’s not fun, but it works.

Parting thoughts?

Ship. If you’re not shipping, it’s because of fear. Become more afraid of not shipping than shipping. Ship. Fail. Learn. Ship.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Joseph Jacks February 24, 2010 at 1:50 pm

GREAT interview, Scott! Keep shipping! Thanks.


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