“If your idea spreads, most everything else is going to take care of itself.”
—Seth Godin, Unleashing the Super Ideavirus
1. When Is a Cigar Just a Cigar?
And when is it a brand, or an idea — in the Seth Godin sense of idea, per Unleashing the Super Ideavirus, the vook that derived from his 2001 bestseller Unleashing the Ideavirus? An idea, in this sense, can be a complex formulation argued in a book, or it might be a new technology, a song, or even a vegetable peeler. Godin declares, “When you first see the OXO Peeler, you instantly understand the idea behind it. You just know it will work better and cut you less often. If you’ve ever peeled a vegetable, you want an OXO.” Yet, improving upon existing products and technologies has been part of human life for centuries. Godin poses the key question of our times, using his infectious disease analogy: “Is the OXO going to get viral?” And herein lies his critical contribution — a new model of marketing, based on respect for consumers.
2. Your Mouth IS The Money
According to Godin, there’s little need to put our money where our mouth is these days … because our mouths are fast becoming “the money.”
Or our noses are —which is to say, if we’re a “promiscuous sneezer” or a “powerful sneezer.”
This vook clarifies such terms and others, like “vacuums,” “hives,” “velocity” and “smoothness,” with which Godin illuminates his new approach to advertising. He doesn’t leave us at sea with those concepts, but applies them directly to case histories of businesses from Gmail, Twitter, and Starbucks to Martha Stewart, Mary Kay, Audi, and 3M Post-Its — many others.
Such references are a valuable part of his ideavirus argument. They are brought to life in the vook with video interviews of innovative CEOs and company founders.
3. “It is a good divine that follows his own instructions…”
In one of the vook’s 18 videos, Godin states that he fully intends to take his own advice.
He advocates a willingness to not only sell an idea, but to live it with integrity. “If your boss says, ‘Just go market it,’ it may be time to get a new job,” he suggests.
And true to his spirit, Unleashing the Super Ideavirus is its own case in point. Over the last decade this idea has leapt from being a Word attachment, offered gratis over email, to being the most downloaded ebook in history, to being an Amazon bestseller in print — and now, to being a vook, which can be heard and watched as well as read — a full expression of the “wow, zing and magic” of our times.
If you want proof that the medium is the message … don’t miss Unleashing the Super Ideavirus.