How Seth Godin Would Launch a Business With a $1,000 Budget

Discuss this article or ask me any questions you may have.

  1. 12

    Always wondered why marketing gurus couldn't create any big companies. They write about people psychology, how to sell, how to create hypes and go viral plus they have the network of investors, CEO and brands.

    And yet, they're not the people behind behemoths like Stripe, Airbnb, Uber - you name it - nor smaller cool companies out there.

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      Seth Godin started Yoyodyne and sold that to Yahoo! in 1998, becoming an executive there when it was a really big, important company. Then there was absolutely a marketer/growth hacker, Blecharczyk, as one of the cofounders of Airbnb.
      StumbleUpon (Uber cofounder Garrett Camp's project) had a huge marketing impact.

      1. 7

        +1 to what @CodeForCash said.

        You either change the World by teaching others to change it or by doing it yourself.

        1. 1

          Hey Louis, it's Zack Burt (we've been emailing)

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            Haha, I know Zack, but your nickname here is CodeForCash, which is why I referred to you this way.

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      This is why I read their articles picking apart and taking away only a few things. My first venture was becoming an Instagram influencer. I remember reading a Neil Patel article about how he spent something like $250,000 to make $300,000 and grow his following on Instagram. I felt like commenting on the article "dude I'm 18"

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    "Market WITH people, not AT them" is interesting but what does it mean concretely ?. What are some examples of marketing with people ?

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      In Godin's terms, it is basically a comparison between "old" and "new" ways of marketing.

      In the old "TV" era, marketing was about shouting AT "everyone" via disruption and propaganda. You'd just make an average product and buy customers via ads.

      Now in the digital age, that's over because that "'everyone' has left the building."

      The new marketing is about starting WITH a defined audience; building products for them instead of building an audience for your product.

      There is also no hiding behind "everybody" here, hence the relevant discussion about customer segmentation in the article.

      Indie Hackers is full of example stories that highlight the importance of audience over product.

      Relevant: Permission marketing

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        Let me give you an example of marketing with people.

        I work for Hotjar as their content marketing strategist.

        Early on, we decided NOT to produce any shallow content and to focus ONLY on writing stuff that we would like to read ourselves, even if it meant publishing only one article every month.

        So my colleague Fio and I spent the last two months researching and writing a massive but helpful guide for SaaS founders.

        We also chose to take a big risk by asking for people's feedback BEFORE the guide was even ready.

        This could have backfired as we were almost ashamed of the first version.

        We were blown away by the results: more than 200 people (!!!) gave us feedback on Google Docs and on a draft version of the guide.

        We used this feedback to improve it and make it what we hope is the best answer on the Internet for early-stage SaaS founders looking for help.

        I think it's a good example of marketing with people: getting feedback early, being empathetic, etc...

  3. 2

    Great article. Thank you for sharing @Louis. I especially liked point #5 because like you, I've tried a bunch of things and quit prematurely. I think it's because we all hear of these "overnight success stories". I now realize there is no such thing as an overnight success and that has helped me lock into the idea of making a spinner and spinning the wheel each and every day.

    1. 1

      Thank you! It's a mindset shift isn't it... Patience and tranquility are really important. It took me a while to get it but now I feel much better about starting anything... I'm glad I could help!

  4. 2

    Bonjour Louis, that was a great episode. I think the story behind how you got an interview with Seth deserves to be shared :) Are you planning a bonus epiosde or a dedicated article? Merci!

    1. 1

      Bonjour et merci!

      Yes, I'm going to write about it and might even do a bonus episode... Who knows :)


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        Sounds great! What's the best way to be notified when that comes out (other than twitter ;)

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          Probably signing up via email on everyonehatesmarketers.com :)

  5. 2

    I really liked this article, great summary of great and simple ideas. Consider me a new follower, I also don't like bullshit in marketing and I'm thrilled to start listening to your podcast. Bonne continuation!

    1. 1

      Thanks Nicolas... Really happy to have you as a new listener. Feel free to reach out any time.

  6. 1

    I really liked this article, great summary of great and simple ideas. Consider me a new follower,with blog of https://watertechguide.com/

  7. 1

    I definitely liked this article, wonderful precise of remarkable and easy thoughts. Consider me a new follower with tools like https://themitersaw.com/best-table-saws/ , I'm pleased to start paying attention to your podcast.

  8. 1

    great advice, thanks.

  9. 1

    Wow truly inspiring. Attention to details, great advice for every aspiring hackers.

  10. 1

    Not to play Devi's Advocate, but is it just me or does Seth's business plan seem superficial? The idea of focusing on a small niche is great -- all on board for that. Yet the idea of getting Parisian Airbnb hosts to PAY you in exchange for a review (or presumably a blog mention)? I don't see how this would amount to a viable income, much less even a thousand a month.

    1. 1

      That's a good point, Seth's business plan is a bit superficial for sure: he came up with it on the spot and the business itself hasn't been tested at all. No plan survives the first contact with customers.

      Instead, what I find the most interesting in his interview is the process itself.

  11. 1

    Hey man I love how you made this article, especially key takeaways as a recap at the bottom and recommended resources to serve as a jump-off point for people who want to pursue the topic further. Thanks for the value.

    1. 1

      Thanks man! I usually don't like to write but I have to admit that I really enjoyed writing this article and I actually find myself re-reading a few times. :)

  12. 1

    Louis, from a developer perspective, I find it a little challenging to get the story or worldview correct according as Seth puts the term.

    What process do you use to approach this?

    Great podcast by the way I listened to a couple of episodes.

    Best regards


    1. 1

      Thank you! I'm not sure I understand your question, though. Can you please rephrase or perhaps give me an example? Thanks!

      1. 1

        Louis, do you use the concept of a worldview or story when you are working on a marketing project, and if you do, what process do you use to create the story?

        1. 1

          Hey there! I think I get it now. The best resource I can direct you to is this interview with Mike Troiano (https://everyonehatesmarketers.com/marketing-storytelling/) on how to create a compelling story by focusing on once core emotion.

          1. 1

            Louis, thank you, I will listen to this episode. The podcast has been great.

            1. 1

              My pleasure and thank you so so much for being a listener

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