Seth Godin, Change, And His New jacAPPS-Designed Apps
By | January 7th, 2013

I love political quotations, and one of my favorites from the last few years came from none other than Sarah Palin, commenting on the first year of the Obama administration:

“How’s that hopey-changey stuff workin’ out for ya?”

Well, for those of us who have been at this awhile, we know all too well that hope is not a good strategy.

But the “changey stuff” is a whole other matter.  It’s what fuels the media world today, and it has become the foundation for every broadcast convention and conference of the past couple years.  From the Worldwide Radio Summit to Convergence to The Radio Show to Conclave, we’re all trying to cope with and anticipate change, whether we want to or not.

After planning and populating 16 Summits, Paul and I can tell you that our very best sessions and panels embraced change and the “change agents” who make it happen.  From Jason Calacanis to Matt Ragas to James Cridlandto Ben McConnell, the idea has always been to put visionary, futuristic thinkers in front of radio people and see what happens.

Over the years, I have become a big fan of Seth Godin.  I believe it was Saga’s Steve Goldstein who introduced me to Seth’s writings with the introduction of Permission Marketing.  At the time, Jacobs Media was getting serious about database research and marketing, and Seth’s book came along and clarified many issues for us.

From there, Seth’s books like Purple Cow have served as lessons for our clients in how to be remarkable and stand out from the crowd.  We bought copies of The Big Moo for every Jacobs Media client back in ’05, and usedLinchpin as an inspiration to seek out unheralded radio employees who were doing remarkable things behind the scenes.

In a radio world dominated by old school thinking back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, Seth redefined many marketing philosophies and challenged many of the “isms.”  He has an incredible grasp of change, what it means, how to embrace it, and how to benefit from it.

So when Lori Lewis ran across this Seth quote the other day, it resonated with me:

“Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late.”

It’s a reminder that we are indeed living in very unstable and precarious times.  Market leaders from Apple to Amazon to Google to Facebook all acknowledge rapid change.  It is better to be out ahead of the curve – or at least to anticipate where that curve is moving – than it is to hang back and wait to see what will happen.

I have had my share of challenging encounters with broadcasters and Jacobs Media clients in the past few years, some of whom have pointedly questioned whether our company has been too early on trends, ranging from web-based research to mobile apps to streaming media.  Some have asked whether our recent focus on the digital dash amounts to more “wolf cries” that aren’t really worth worrying about.

When I hear that old saying that radio will of course survive this challenge, as it did TV, MTV, satellite radio, and in-car media like 8-tracks, cassettes, and CDs, I think about quotes like this one from Seth.  I wonder what the publishers of Newsweek might say about all this.

So you won’t be surprised that last fall when Seth solicited mobile app developers to create an app for his blog, the team at jacAPPS was all over it.  Seth was deluged with requests, accepted only 40 proposals, and then selected our group as one of his potential developers.

A few weeks later and now there are jacAPPS-designed iPhone (iPad) and Android apps for Seth’s blog available in each platform’s respective stores.  They’re free, of course, and you can access them below, and if you’re searching in either app market, make sure you add in “Jacobs Media” when you look for Seth’s blog app.

Seth Godin’s iPhone/iPad app link

Seth Godin’s Android app link

As we’ve done for hundreds of great radio brands, shows like NPR’s Car TalkC-SPAN Radio, and many others, we are pleased to have been selected to develop apps for one of the great thought leaders of our day.  The ability for Seth to share his thinking and ideas with millions of smartphone and tablet owners is empowering and exciting.

We will continue to unabashedly quote Seth, and now that you can access him on the go while you’re waiting for the dentist, gutting out a boring soccer game, or just killing a little time, maybe you will, too.

Embrace change.


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