I like Seth Godin’s work, but I think he’s overrated.
It’s not Seth’s fault; he keeps doing great work. But the Internet hype machine has saddled him with ridiculously high expectations and a worshipful aurora of groupies, which makes it difficult to evaluate his work properly.
Nonetheless, his recent post, “Pick Anything — The Calculus of Change” is a keeper:
“Do nothing is the choice of people who are afraid. Do nothing is what you do if too many people have to agree. Do nothing is what happens if one person with no upside has to accept downside responsibility for a change. What’s in it for them to do anything? So they do nothing.
The key moment for an insurgent, then, is the time of “pick anything.” That’s why these are such good times for iPhone apps. That’s why the beginning of an administration is a good time to lobby. When people have to pick, they have to confront some of the fear and organizational barriers that lead to the status quo.”
Those who have worked with me know that one of my most important marketing principles is that your competitors are rarely your most important competition. Doing nothing is always your toughest “competitor.”
As Seth points out, if you can find a moment in time where the status quo is vulnerable, that’s the ideal time for the savvy entrepreneur to strike.