Title: We Are All Weird (Affiliate Link)
Page count: 97 in Hardback
Rating: 7 out of 10
Who should read: Anybody contemplating, in the process of, or fully committed to embracing their inner weirdness and using it to change the world. (We are all, after all, weird.)
The Punch Line: At 97 pages, you can easily read this manifesto from the ever-popular Seth Godin in 97 minutes or less. For a spark to get going, encouragement to stay weird, or a kick in the butt to wake up, it is definitely worth the small time investment. Godin is forever challenging us to fight the status quo and create work that matters. We Are All Weird follows the same trend.
Extended Thoughts and Summary:
Normal is no longer normal, and mass no longer sells. The industrial revolution promoted efficient production of mass-consumed goods and services. With the advent of the internet and the opportunity to self-create, self-employ, self-publish, and self-promote, we all have an opportunity. It’s the opportunity to be weird in a good way. To create products and services based on our own weird ideas for an equally weird tribe. That’s Godin’s basic argument, and I couldn’t agree more.
If you have ever read both Godin’s blog and one of his many books, you know they follow a similar format. His blog posts are generally short, pithy, and full of unique insight somewhere along the lines of: the world needs you to step out of the box. In his books, you might say Godin simply writes an extra blog post for a number of consecutive days, linked by a common theme, and then compiles them into an organized book or manifesto for publishing. With We Are All Weird, I feel Godin has done just this.
The sections/posts are further divided into an introduction, three parts, and a postscript by the following titles:
- Introduction: The Pregnant Elephant
- Part 1: Capitalism, Industry, and the Power of Mass – And its Inevitable Decline
- Part 2: The Four Forces for Weird
- Part 3: The Gradual and Inexorable Spread of the Bell Curve
- Postscript: Onward Toward Tribes
The opportunity of our time is to support the word, to sell to the weird and, if you wish, to become weird. pp. 3Most people who make that choice [to become weird] are paradoxically looking to be accepted. Not by everyone, of course, but by their tribe, by people they admire and hope to be respected by. pp. 16Average is for marketers who don’t have enough information to be accurate. pp. 61The weird set an example for the rest of us. They raise the bar, they show us through their actions that in fact we’re wired to do the new, not to comply with someone a thousand miles away. pp. 72What I care a great deal about, though, is each human’s ability to express her art, to develop into the person she is able to become. I care about the connections between people and our ability to challenge and support each other as we create our own versions of art. And I care about freedom, the ability to express yourself until it impinges on someone else’s happiness. pp. 90