Seth Godin hasn’t made a lot of videos

From a recent post (i subscribe to his email list) it’s obvious that the Great Domed One hasn’t shot a lot of film. Not that this stops him from telling people how to do it. I love that about internet ad guru types. Never let not actually having experience of doing something hold you back from holding forth on it.

Let me tell you how to create viral video. First, spend years studying what people like and don’t like and what works. Then spend years shooting a TON of all sorts of things to learn the art of film-making. Because film is a very executional medium. It’s art. And art is hard.

There is no short cut to great content. Unless you happen to have a lion somewhere that you raised as a cub and that’s just dying to be reunited with you years later. like now. or you happen to have a sneezing panda in your basement.

There’s an old cowboy saying: never mistake a clear view for a short distance. just because you’ve watched a lot of video doesn’t mean you’ll be any good at creating it.

Here’s my tip: hire someone who actually knows what they’re doing.


7 responses to “Seth Godin hasn’t made a lot of videos

  1. That was a pretty snarky post, I think, and undeserved. Of course it’s important to hire people who know what they’re doing. And tell them what, precisely? Tell them to shoot you a TV commercial? No, that won’t work. Tell them to make you a commercial just like Numa Numa? Won’t work… it’s been done.

    Being a client is just as difficult as being a creative or a director. Lousy executive producers ruin as many movies as lousy directors, right?

    Be well. Sorry that I annoyed you.

  2. “Never let not actually having experience of doing something hold you back from holding forth on it.”


    As technology and marketing overlap so much these days, I truly get a kick out of listening to tech writers go on about marketing and marketing writers go on about technology.

    Each oblivious as to how completely ridiculous they sound to each other.

    “A smart person is someone who knows what he doesn’t know” – best advice I ever got.

  3. I agree totally with Alan on this. I’ve myself often made the mistake of trying to understand technology before I understood it. But with about 240 years in marketing under my belt and being one of the pioneers on the web back at my Anderson & Lembke days I’m inclined to say that no matter how much you think you know about technology nothing will prepare you for marketing. Now, I’m not really a fan of Seth Godin, whom I find a PR guy more than someone who can give me good advice. However I do respect him for rather often finding the angle that’s spot on. He’s rather quirky and not stupid at all.
    But videos he doesn’t know much about for sure. That’s the temptation and the dilemma with fame. Your voice is being heard no matter whether you’re in the know or not. And those who don’t know better don’t know better.

  4. There is a short cut to great content, money.

    Some wannabe virals’ budgets and production values are ridiculous. Anyone seen Carousel, the unbranded (branded) video? Wouldn’t exactly call it a viral success, but there’s still time. Raises the obvious question of ROI, it must have cost a bomb.

  5. Alan, you are uniquely positioned to understand that. note to self: no tech blatherings.

    Tore, agree about Seth. He’s more of an intellectual and generally talks common sense. which is why i like him.

    re: turn on,

    ha! forgot about that one. Money. well that’s true to an extent. but i’ve seen millions of dollars thrown at ideas that never got off the ground. but you make a good point. some film ideas simply cost a fortune to do well and can’t be done on the cheap. too often “viral” is associated with crap production values and miniscule budgets. i’ve seen that carousel thing. but i wonder how many outside our biz have.

  6. Seth,

    your comment got snagged in my spam filter for some reason. it couldn’t believe it was actually you i guess. sorry about that.

    i don’t think my post was snarky. irate perhaps.

    i remember your post rubbed me the wrong way because i know what you’re saying to be untrue.
    you’re saying something isn’t possible just because you can’t imagine it to be so.

    “Tell them to make you a commercial just like Numa Numa? Won’t work… it’s been done.”

    You mean it’s been tried and been a miserable failure a million times? Yeah it has. So what? that doesn’t mean it CAN’T be done. and i would argue strongly that experience is invaluable here. but of course if you have no concept of success in this area i can see how you might have difficulty imagining it.

    but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

  7. Pingback: Seth Godin commented on our blog « ESCAPOLOGY (the escape pod’s blog)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s