23 Tweetable Startup Insights From Seth Godin

By Dharmesh Shah on September 1, 2010

Regular readers of this blog know that I’m a long-time admirer of Seth Godin.  He’s one of those “big thinkers” that has the added talent of being able to articulate high-level concepts in an immensely approachable way.  That’s a very rare, and dare I say remarkable intersection of abilities.Seth Godin on Startups

The following is a list of short, pithy insights that I’ve been collecting from Seth’s Blog over the past few months.  They were not all written specifically for startups, but I found them to be particularly relevant for entrepreneurs.  I, like many, think Seth's ideas deserve to be spread.


If you find any of these particularly resonant, there’s a convenient link to tweet it. 

23 Tweetable Startup Insights From Seth Godin

1) Reliance on the tried and true can backfire. [tweet]

2) Sell the problem. No business buys a solution for a problem they don't have. [tweet]

3) Every activity worth doing has a learning curve. [tweet]

4) As the world gets faster, the glacial changes of years and decades are more important, not less. [tweet]

5) Cultural shifts create long terms evolutionary changes. [tweet]

6) Being 1st helps in the short run. Being a little more right pays off in the long run. Last is the worst. [tweet]

7) Build in virality. [tweet]

8) Subscriptions beat one-off sales. [tweet]

9) Treat different customers differently. [tweet]

10) Generate joy. Don't just satisfy a need for a commodity. [tweet]

11) Plan on remarkable experiences, not remarkable ads. [tweet]

12) Don't build a fortress of secrets, bet on open. [tweet]

13) You can get even more done if you give away credit, relentlessly [tweet]

14) Create scarcity but act with abundance. [tweet]

15) Competition validates you. It creates a category. It permits the sale to be this or that, not yes or no. [tweet]

16) There are lots of good reasons to abandon a project. Having a little competition is not one of them. [tweet]

17) It's not who can benefit from what you sell. It's about choosing the customers you'd like to have. [tweet]

18) The customers you fire and those you pay attention to all send signals to the rest of the group. [tweet]

19) 100 people doing something at the same time has far more power than 300 people doing it over time. [tweet]

20) Are you chasing or being chased? Are you leading or following? Are you fleeing or climbing? [tweet]

21) Get it right for ten people before you rush around scaling up to a thousand. [tweet]

22) Highlighting what's working helps you make that happen more often. [tweet]

23) Perfect is overrated. Perfect doesn't scale, either. [tweet]

Which is your favorite?  Any that I missed that you have in your secret stash?

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Announcing My New Startup Project: The Most Ambitious Yet

By Dharmesh Shah on August 26, 2010

I am thrilled to announce my most recent — and most ambitious — startup project to date. 

My wife Kirsten and I are now expecting our first child — I’m going to be a dad!

New Ambitous Startup Project: The Details

1. Funding:  Unlike my current startup HubSpot (which has raised $33 million in venture capital), this particular project will be self-funded.  Hopefully, it won’t be quite as capital intensive.

2. Founding Team: Though both founders are new to the domain, we hope to make up for the inexperience with passion and perseverance.describe the image

3. Launch Date:  Scheduled for January, 2011. 

4. Branding:  We haven’t kicked off a branding project yet — will do that as the scheduled launch date approaches.  Meanwhile, we'll use the term, NewBay, Inc. (inspired by that fantastically inspired name, NewCo, Inc.)

5. Management:  Luckily, we have many people interested in helping with this project.  Some will be helping grow the effort on a volunteer basis.

6. Parallel Startups:  Generally, I’m not a fan of working on multiple startup projects simultaneously. But, in this case, it was not avoidable.  HubSpot hasn’t quite hit adulthood yet (and still wants the car keys every Friday night), and this new project couldn't really wait. 

7. Distribution:  We believe there is a market need as evidenced by some recent survey respondents: “Quit working so hard and focus on life a bit. You’re not getting any younger -My Mom”.  “Listen to your mom.”  -My Dad.  Though the sample size for these surveys is not statistically representative, seems like finding early interest in the project will be easy.  Then, using lean startup principles, we’ll iterate from there based on what we learn.

As is the case with any new, early-stage effort, we’re likely to make mistakes.  The hope is that in the the long run (and in this case, it’s a really long run), we will have created something great and made the world a tad better.  Wish us luck!  Exciting times!
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