I've long been a fan of Seth Godin’s work, so I love his new book, Meatball Sundae. It’s all about what happens when an old-line company, selling commodity-level products with a low-cost, low-value mentality, tries to adapt to the online marketing world of Web 2.0. The result, says Seth, is like putting whipped cream and a cherry on a bowl of meatballs (hence the title.)
I had a chance to interview Seth last week about his book, and wrote it up for my column in Monday’s Financial Post. The gist: either you get hep to the need for broader, deeper customer relationships, or you're stuck in slow-growth meatball business for the rest of your career. He cited JetBlue (a metaphor I extended to include Calgary’s WestJet) to illustrate the difference between 21st century marketing and “running a bus company that happens to fly in the sky."
Godin has written a manifesto for a permanent new way of doing business. Is he right? It feels true to me. And Godin says he feels the same way. After writing a book a year for the past 10 years, he says this one left him drained, and he has no idea what he’ll write next.
Most interestingly, I suggested that this new industrial revolution he’s talking about seems tailor-made for small business. Godin agrees. In fact, he thinks this is the best time in history to start your own business.
“What wins now,” he says, “is speed, transparency, authenticity and passion. And all these things come from people, not faceless corporations.”
And here’s a thought-provoking Godin quote I didn't have room to put in my story: “If someone had sat down 15 years ago and said, “How can we create an atmosphere that’s conducive to startups?, what they would have come up with is what we have today.”
So go for it. But first read the full story here.
Read more on Seth Godin’s blog. It’ll pump you up.