Seth Godin, Linchpin and the Lizard Brain
Friday I had the opportunity to hear a presentation by best selling author Seth Godin. He was in Salt Lake to raise money for Haiti as well as promote his new book Linchpin.
I have to admit I haven’t read much of Mr. Godin’s work, but I do know he is highly thought of as a marketing whiz.
Since Mr. Godin is so smart, I shouldn’t have been surprised when he made some pretty bold statements about the economy and the future of jobs. He said, “This is a different recession.” The economy isn’t going to recover like it has in the past. He pointed out like I’ve thought for some time the economy is in transition. The jobs we’ve lost aren’t coming back.
That’s the bad news. The good news is we’re all geniuses. That’s what Godin says anyway. We’ve all got some special skill or experience that makes us a genius. To prove our genius, we must solve interesting problems and lead. Godin says that if someone has to write down what we need to do, we’re not acheiving our potential.
What holds us back he says is our “lizard brain.” That’s the first part of our brains to form. It contains the “fight or flight” reaction that keeps every animal alive. Since we’ve moved far past the hunter/gatherer stage in our economy, Godin suggests we not only ignore our lizard brain’s promptings, but do the opposite of it.
The barrier to entry is inexpensive. Technology development has reached the point where anybody has access to the tools necessary to create that solution to interesting problems. Godin says that besides being geniuses we must become artists and creators.
We don’t need publishers to distribute our writing. We have the Internet to do it for us. All we need to do is create.
We don’t need an FCC to broadcast our voices. Free software and the Internet does that for us. All we need to do is create.
We don’t need TV to broadcast our videos. YouTube and the Internet does that for us. All we need to do is create.
Some of us have embraced this new paradigm. Others will soon. We needn’t necessarily be in business for ourselves, but we do need to create. We need to solve those interesting problems for our employers or the clients that employ us.
The United States currently has 15 million unemployed or underemployed citizens. Some of this number have already begun to create. They’ve started businesses, free lanced and otherwise provided solutions to interesting problems. Imagine what will happen when all 15 million and the 10’s of millions the government no longer counts begin to create solutions to interesting problems?
I can’t wait.