Akimbo – The Grand Opening

Seth Godin has just started a new podcast, and the first episode is all about what it means to start and finish (link goes to the show notes).

Do you ever feel like the world isn’t ready for your idea? Remember this:

“Karl Benz, when he launched the car, did it in Germany where it was against the law to drive a car and there were no passable roads and there were no gas stations. He should have waited. Gutenberg, pioneer of movable type, launched the book when there were no bookstores and when no one knew how to read and when reading glasses were required but hadn’t been invented yet. He should have waited.”

A part of the problem in today’s world is that even if you are ready to start, it’s challenging to get your message out there. A part of that, in Seth’s opinion, is because we’ve focused so intensely on the ‘grand opening’ that we put too much emphasis on starting. We can look to the old fashioned carnival to see where this came from. A modern day advertisement is a continuation of the carnival barker. What’s the problem? Well:

“The goal isn’t to edify, to educate, to create an environment that you’re going to come back to again and again. The goal is to take your money and leave town.”

This type of marketing has taken over, and it isn’t helpful. Also not helpful, in Seth’s opinion, is launching something like a crowdfunding campaign early on:

“Kickstarter should be called Kickfinisher. A Kickstarter is the end of a multi-month or multi-year effort to earn trust and attention.”

Instead of focusing on a campaign or an opening, focus in on building fans. Then get better at making art, and make more fans as you do it.

That’s great advice.

Reminds me of: Kevin Kelly’s ‘1,000 True Fans

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