Seth Godin

Seth W. Godin is an American author and former dot com business executive.


After leaving Spinnaker in 1986, he used $20,000 in savings to found Seth Godin Productions, primarily a book packaging business, out of a studio apartment in New York City.[4] He then met Mark Hurst and founded Yoyodyne (named in jest after the fictional Yoyodyne in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension[5]). After a few years, Godin sold the book packaging business to his employees and focused his efforts on Yoyodyne, where he promoted the concept of permission marketing.[6]

Business ventures

Yoyodyne, launched in 1995, used contests, online games, and scavenger hunts to market companies to participating users. In August 1996, Flatiron Partners invested $4 million in Yoyodyne in return for a 20% stake.[4][7] At Yoyodyne, Godin published Permission Marketing: Turning strangers into friends and friends into customers. In 1998, he sold Yoyodyne to Yahoo! for about $30 million[8][9] and became Yahoo’s vice president of direct marketing.[10]

In March 2006, Godin launched Squidoo.[11] In July 2008, Squidoo was one of the 500 most visited sites in the world.[12] By 2014, it was no longer considered financially viable and was sold to HubPages.[13]


Godin is the author of many books. Free Prize Inside was a Forbes Business Book of the Year in 2004,[14] while Purple Cow sold over 150,000 copies in more than 23 print runs in its first two years.[15] The Dip was a Business Week and New York Times bestseller;[16][17] Business Week also named Linchpin among its “20 of the best books by the most influential thinkers in business” on November 13, 2015.[18]

In June 2013, Godin raised more than $250,000 from readers with a Kickstarter campaign, which in turn secured him a book contract with his publisher for his book “The Icarus Deception.”[1]

Godin was inducted into the American Marketing Association’s Marketing Hall of Fame in 2018.[19]

Godin has a chapter on advising in the Tim Ferriss’ book Tools of Titans.


Seth Godin’s blog was named by Time among its 25 best blogs of 2009.[20]

Personal life

Godin and his wife Helene live in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, with their two sons.[21]


  • Tufts Student Resources (1993). Seth Godin (ed.). Quick Lit: Plots, themes, characters, and sample essays for the most assigned books in English and literature courses. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-461041-1.
  • The Video Renter’s Bible: 55 Lists that Make it Easy to Rent a Great Movie. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc. 1993. ISBN 0-393-31081-7.
  • The Smiley Dictionary. Berkeley: Peachpit Press. 1993. ISBN 1-56609-008-3.
  • Email Addresses of the Rich & Famous. Pearson Education. 1994. ISBN 9780201408935.
  • Point & Click Internet: Get Online in less than an Hour!. Berkley: Peachpit Press. 1994. ISBN 1-56609-161-6.
  • Point & Click Investor: Get Online and make the most of your Investments. Dearborn Financial Publishing, Inc. 1996. ISBN 0-7931-2344-5.
  • eMarketing: Reaping Profits on the Information Highway. New York: Berkley Pub. Group. 1995. ISBN 0-399-51904-1.
  • The Encyclopedia of Fictional People: The Most Important Characters of the 20th Century. New York: Berkley Pub. Group. 1996. ISBN 1-57297-073-1.
  • You’ve Got Pictures!: AOL’s Guide to Digital Imaging. America Online, Inc. 1998. ISBN 1-891556-51-7.
  • If You’re Clueless about Mutual Funds and Want to Know More. Dearborn Financial Publishing, Inc. 1997. ISBN 0-7931-2554-5.
  • If You’re Clueless about Insurance and Want to Know More. Dearborn Financial Publishing, Inc. 1998. ISBN 0-7931-2718-1.
  • If You’re Clueless about Selling and Want to Know More. Dearborn Financial Publishing, Inc. 1998. ISBN 0-793-12989-3.
  • If You’re Clueless about Financial Planning and Want to Know More. Dearborn Financial Publishing, Inc. 1998. ISBN 0-7931-2988-5.
  • If You’re Clueless about Saving Money and Want to Know More. Dearborn Financial Publishing, Inc. 1998. ISBN 0-7931-2556-1.
  • Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends, and Friends into Customers. New York: Simon & Schuster. 1999. ISBN 0-684-85636-0.
  • Unleashing the Ideavirus. New York: Hyperion. 2001. ISBN 0-7868-8717-6. – Detailing the idea of Viral marketing
  • The Big Red Fez: How To Make Any Web Site Better. New York: Free Press. 2002. ISBN 0-7432-2790-5.
  • Survival is not enough: zooming, evolution, and the future of your company. New York: Free Press. 2002. ISBN 0-7432-2571-6.
  • Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable. New York: Portfolio. 2003. ISBN 1-59184-021-X.
  • Free Prize Inside!: The Next Big Marketing Idea. New York: Portfolio. 2004. ISBN 1-59184-041-4.
  • All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World. New York: Portfolio. 2005. ISBN 1-59184-100-3.
  • Godin, Seth, ed. (2005). The Big Moo: Stop Trying to be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable. New York: Portfolio. ISBN 1-59184-103-8.
  • Small Is the New Big: and 193 Other Riffs, Rants, and Remarkable Business Ideas. New York: Portfolio. 2006. ISBN 1-59184-126-7.
  • The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick). New York: Portfolio. 2007. ISBN 978-1-59184-166-1.
  • Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing out of Sync?. New York: Portfolio. 2008. ISBN 978-1-59184-174-6.
  • Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us. Portfolio. 2008. ISBN 978-1-59184-233-0.
  • Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?. Portfolio. 2010. ISBN 978-1-59184-316-0.
  • Poke the Box. Portfolio. 2011. ISBN 978-1-936719-00-6.
  • We Are All Weird. The Domino Project. 2011. ISBN 978-1-936719-22-8.
  • The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?. Portfolio. 2012. ISBN 978-0-6709-2292-5.
  • V Is for Vulnerable: Life Outside the Comfort Zone. Portfolio. 2012. ISBN 978-1591846109.
  • Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck?: And Other Provocations. Portfolio. 2013. ISBN 978-15918-4609-3.
  • What To Do When It’s Your Turn (and it’s always your turn). Seth Godin. 2014. ISBN 978-19367-1931-0.
  • This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See. Seth Godin. 2018. ISBN 978-0-525-54083-0.
  • The Practice: Shipping Creative Work. Portfolio. 2020. ISBN 978-0-593-32897-2.

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