Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Why I'm Disagreeing with Seth Godin

:::DISCLAIMER::: I love Seth Godin.

Today, Seth had an interesting post about design that hit close to home. Check it out if you haven't read it.

Here is what I agree with:
  • Having "beautiful powerpoint slides, handsome business cards, clever bio photos and a decent website" is really important.*
  • If you hold meetings, you should learn how to make a good PowerPoint.
  • Someone who is trying to figure out how to design a good PowerPoint presentation will never be a gifted or breakthrough designer.
*If you're not a designer, you can't make them good enough. You can get yourself taken seriously in a presentation, but that's about it (and that's if you're lucky).

Here is why I disagree:
  • He says it takes less talent now to be a good designer. I don't even know what this means. How could it take less talent to be a good designer? Because it's easy to find something you like online and rip it off?
  • Seth is perpetuating the popular notion that mediocre design is "good enough." Sure, it's good enough if you don't want to be taken seriously. Most professional designers won't even design their own logos because of the challenges. 
  • Great design is based in great research, education and a great eye. You can learn formulas from a book, but you can't learn how to be an artist.
  • What is "breakthrough?" Does that mean better than mediocre? I guess. We all have different levels of what is "good enough," so maybe we should leave it to the professionals to decide.

I'm annoyed. The end.


rachel said...

I'm going to have to go ahead and agree with you on all of this.

Seth Godin said...

Hi Danielle

Sorry if I annoyed you. I had assumed you didn't do just better-than-mediocre work.

You don't hire a professional copywriter to write your blog, yet copywriters aren't upset. That's because they know that once you start writing, you'll realize how much the great stuff they do is worth.

Which is a key part of my point. Sure, it's far easier to be pretty good today than twenty years ago. (Prestype? What's that?) And the only way you're going to win is by being WAY better than that, right?

So embrace the people doing pretty good work. They'll need you soon.

Danielle said...

LOL yeah...I hope I do better than mediocre work.

Thanks for the thoughts. I get where you're coming from. I just feel that a lot of people take what you say as Gospel and that post can be taken out of context, if that makes sense. ;-)

Danny Lucas said...

Seth Godin calls all marketing people liars too.

He seems to have a knack for insulting an audience as a style to get them to notice him.

Note to Seth: "It ain't working".

Liars are in the domain of satan. YOU write in the domain of Christian bloggers. Consider "edify", "build up", "respect", ....talk like that....and an audience may become up to snuff for you. Otherwise, I found myself agreeing with Mrs. Hartland here, a tough act since she deleted my first comment ever at this site long ago and never explained.

Her peers at Grace are big on commentary. They get it as a result of being inviting.

Regardless, the best blog post I read all day today said simply:
"Why I'm Disagreeing With Seth Godin", and I applaud the post, the insight, and someone in Christian circles finally calling it right, on negative reports.

Larry Shallenberger said...


I am available for hire as as copy writer at the rate of $250/ 800-1000 words.

Barb said...

Who is Seth Godin ?

Danielle said...

Actually, Danny...I wasn't trying to call him on the carpet. I just disagree with this one point. It wasn't insulting to me, I was just worried that it would be taken the wrong way (as in "I don't need a designer because I can do it all myself.")

"All Marketers Are Liars" is currently one of my favorite books (and I agree with it so far). Seth is not Satan's handmaiden, by any stretch. What he's doing IS working, and I generally respect his opinions.

(on another note: I don't need to explain why I delete comments. This is my blog and I can handle it as I wish. If you want to control a blog, you should start one. If it matters, I deleted that comment way back when because it was longer than my post, and I don't like your commenting style. You write so much that it blocks others from feeling free to comment. I kept this one in because of it's brevity.)

Danny Lucas said...

You could be right Danielle!
My commenting style is either loved or hated.

In many forums, it has been made "Comment of the week", and with far greater length than I would attempt given your parameters.


However, to assume one needs a blog to comment is akin to owning a newspaper to write a Letter to the Editor. That excludes a lot of folks.

Your Exective Pastor, your husband, and most of the staff at Grace are , fortunately, at variance with your policy and publish all my comments in full. Apparently, they beliveve it stimulates discussion, not inhibit it.

Your 30 til 30 was a great series and I thought of many comments I would have liked to make as observations.

I will honor your request to make my comments with other staffers at Grace, the Globe, but I decline to open a blog at this time.
There is an inordinate number of bloggers.

There is little decent commentary on the net.
As your preference is brevity, my preference is commentary, not blogging.

Welcome to your 30's.
You came in style.
Happy Easter as well, this year, and all the years to come.
ps. I like Molly Piper's open invitation to comment.

"On Browsing and Commenting
You may be a stranger,
but you're not a stalker."
~~~Molly Piper /policy

At least the public can know the policy.

Best regards,