For generations, marketers, industrialists and politicians have tried to force us into little boxes, complying with their idea of what we should buy, use or want. And in an industrial, mass-market driven world, this was efficient and it worked. But what we learned in this new era is that mass limits our choice because it succeeds on conformity.
As Godin has identified, a new era of weirdness is upon us. People with more choices, more interests and the power to do something about it are stepping forward and insisting that the world work in a different way. By enabling choice we allow people to survive and thrive.
Seth Godin's latest book, We Are All Weird, is a song of freedom, an exuberant manifesto with the richness of choice that comes with wealth, the markets, the Internet, our increasing connection with one another across the globe. He argues that the era of mass marketing is over (thankfully), and that as humans we seek not just to consume but to "connect," and therefore we find those who love what we love and, when it works best, create or join "tribes." We are allowed--indeed, encouraged--to be individuals, to specialize rather than fit in or be "normal," and this is where richness begins. As Seth says, "Stuff is not the point." Connection, choice, pursuing what we love is.
Seth has advised the organization I founded, Acumen Fund, for many years. He constantly reminds us to be unafraid to focus on a small group of believers who make the choice to opt in, and I can see that lesson elucidated brilliantly in We Are All Weird. We have the extraordinary luxury of choice and, for the most part, of doing what we want to do. How we use that choice to make the lives of others around us the richer for being connected to us is critical to Seth's evolving understanding of marketing and creating systems that release rather than stifle our energies—regardless of who we are, where we live, or what language we may speak. Read this book slowly and read it again, for the lessons are rich and wise. I couldn't feel prouder to be a part of Seth's tribe.