This Might Not Work: A Conversation with Seth Godin About Art
It’s not every day that you get to interview one of your heroes. In this conversation with the inimitable Seth Godin, I got to do just that. For 34 minutes, we talked about art, fear, and making a ruckus. It was a lot of fun.
Listen to the interview
Click here download the MP3.
(Many thanks to Andy Traub for helping me clean up the audio.)
Icarus, art, and the lies we believe
The excuse for the interview was Seth’s new book, The Icarus Deception, which is about how we’ve been deceived into settling for less than we should. It’s a call to resist the model of the factory and create connections that matter.
In our talk, he mentions artists like Amanda Palmer, who raised over a million dollars on Kickstarter, and Shepard Fairey, whose once-free graffiti art now goes for tens of thousands of dollars. Each is an example of generosity, creativity, and how the world rewards art.
I also took this opportunity to ask Seth some things I’ve always wanted to ask (even taking a few questions from the audience). I hope you enjoy our conversation.
In this interview (which you can listen to by clicking the player button above or by downloading the MP3), we talk about:
- Why Seth launched his most recent project via Kickstarter
- What he’s afraid of (yes, he actually has fears)
- Why generosity wins (and where it comes from)
- The book he’d recommend to his younger self
- Whether or not artists should get paid for their work (and exactly how that works)
- What makes Seth Godin go, “Sheesh!”
- The name of his upcoming boy band (honest)
- “We can’t have an art factory.” [Tweet]
- “We don’t reward people who are wandering generalities.” [Tweet]
- “Knowing where things are is worth more than the things themselves.” [Tweet]
- “The only thing we want to connect to is art.” [Tweet]
- “We have been brainwashed into flying too low.” [Tweet]
- “I’m better off shipping than I am making it perfect.” [Tweet]
- “The reason we read our reviews on Amazon is to beat ourselves up and to hide.” [Tweet]
- “If I’m not saying to myself, ‘This might not work’ … then I haven’t pushed myself hard enough.” [Tweet]
Seth’s new book(s)
Seth actually has three new books out (one is a manifesto, another a companion piece, and the third a collection of blog posts). They are:
I bought each of these and love them. I encourage you to do the same. However, because I love the work that Seth does so much, I also want to give one away. Here’s how it’ll work:
- Leave a comment on this post, answering the question below.
- Share this post via Twitter or Facebook.
- Check your email in 24 hours. If you win, I’ll contact you and give you the choice of which book you’d like. Then I’ll buy it for you.
What’s something you’ve created that you weren’t sure would work? Share in the comments.
Update: The contest is now over. Congrats to Ben Dempsey for winning the free book!
Disclosure: Some of the above links are affiliate links.