Seth Cutter Found 12 people in Massachusetts, California and 14 other states
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Common information about name Seth Cutter
- Matt Customer
- Joan Cutter
- Joan O’Malley
- Joan Elly
- Joan Kelly
- (978) 546-3085
- (760) 634-0668
- (202) 547-2815
- (978) 356-7771
- 170 Glaucus St, Encinitas, CA 92024
- 69 Westbury St, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
- 621 F St NE, Washington, DC 20002
- 31B Washington St, Nantucket, MA 02554
- 4 Wallace Rd, Rockport, MA 01966
- Assistant Vice President, Budget Forecasting in Urban Lending Solutions
- Director of Communications and Government Affairs in Cvg Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Air.
- Senior Transportation Planner in Caltrans District 11
- Biola University Crowell School of Business
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- San Jose State University
- 28 to 79
has lived in Dallas, TX Garland, TX Broomfield, CO Superior, CO Erie, CO La Mirada, CA Sherman Oaks, CA 69 Westbury St, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
has lived in Oceanside, CA Encinitas, CA Carlsbad, CA Englewood, FL Rockport, MA La Jolla, CA Del Mar, CA Cambridge, MA Chestnut Hill, MA
621 F St NE, Washington, DC 20002
also known as Seth Cutter Stephani Cutter Stephaine Cutter Stephanie Cutler
also known as Seth Cutter Joan O’Malley Joan Kelly Joan Cutler Joan Elly
has lived in Rockport, MA Englewood, FL Sarasota, FL Cambridge, MA 8 Chiswick Rd, Brighton, MA 02135 Brighton, MA 31B Washington St, Nantucket, MA 02554
related to Audrey Mayes, 45 Harriet Phelps, 68 Jennifer Phelps, 47 Marc Cutler, 76 Sidney Cutler Susann Cutler Suzanne Cutler, 74
has lived in Willoughby, OH Mentor, OH Beachwood, OH Cleveland, OH Cleveland Hts, OH Cleveland Heights, OH
related to George Lutz, 99 Julia Lutz, 99 Mendi Boss, 48 Heather Clutter, 46 Patricia Clutter, 67 Robert Clutter Charles Clutter, 67
We found 12 people in 16 states named Seth Cutter living in the US. The state with the most residents by this name is Massachusetts. followed by California and Florida. Public records for Seth Cutter range in age from 28 years old to 79 years old. Possible relatives for Seth Cutter include Walter Jankowski. Seth Cutter. Rebecca O’Malley and several others. A phone number associated with this person is (978) 546-3085. and we have 3 other possible phone numbers in the same local area codes 978 and 760.
Mentions about a name: Seth Cutter
Street Fighter 4: League Semi-Finals Gameneo (Seth) Vs Kornstew (Blanka)
All credit for this video goes to Kornstew. This is his video, I just borrowed it with his permission and added my own little thoughts. here is his channel here. www.YouTube.com Also if your interested in joining kornstews league for Xbox 360 here is the link. www.myleague.com I added Annotations du.
Zac Efron Seth Rogen Teaming Up For R-Rated Comedy
bit.ly. Click to Subscribe! com. Become a Fan! com.Follow Us! Hey everyone! Thanks for checking back with clevver movies, Im Tatiana carrier and I have the latest on Seth Rogan AND Zac Efron! According to our friends at Deadline, Universal Pictures is closing a 7-figure deal for.
Ferris 36 Commercial Zero Turn Walkbehind Lawn Mower For Sale
Thismachine is for sale on eBay. Click here: cgi.ebay.com This machine is being sold at a very reasonable price! We have other machines available. Feel free to call at 814 542 2476 anytime. Get item shipped anywhere in the USA. Email for rate quote! Thanks, Seth.
Seth Cutter. May 17, 2020
Mary Kate Blank joins Seth Cutter, music director at Holy Spirit Parish in Newport, Kentucky, ( ) to.
Seth Cutter. April 1, 2020
Seth Cutter, music director at Holy Spirit Parish in Newport, Kentucky, ( ) shares songs selected for.
Seth Cutter. April 26, 2020
Seth Cutter, music director at Holy Spirit Parish in Newport, Kentucky, ( ) shares songs selected for.
Interview With Candace Mcgraw And Seth Cutter (Cvg)
Candace McGraw, CEO, and Seth Cutter, Director of Communications and Government Affairs, update Judge/Executive Kris.
YTD Host Colin Meiselman sits down with SG President Seth Cutter to talk about what exactly he did this summer.
Manufactured By: Seth Muhammad Tufail Foundary (Pvt.) Limited Samundari Road, Faisalabad. (Pakistan) Phones : 92-041-714167, 543827
Souk Le Cutter Fou !
Song Name: Pass Out Artist: Tinie Tempah Featuring: Seth gueko Creator. KmZ_ Game. Counter-Strike : Source Starring.Souk Music. Pass Out
Seth Cutter Social Media Profiles
Rockport High School, Rockport, Massachusetts (Ma)
Gould Academy, Bethel, Maine (Me)
Newbury Park High School, Newbury Park, California (Ca)
FAQ: Learn more about our top result for Seth Cutter
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Seth Cutter’s address is 170 Glaucus St, Encinitas, CA 92024.
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Seth Cutter’s phone number is (978) 546-3085.
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Seth Cutter’s is 28 years old.
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We have marriage records for 5 people named Seth Cutter.
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Seth Cutter was born on 1995.
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You can find arrest records for Seth Cutter in our background checks if they exist.
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4: Seth Godin | Shining in the Light of One-Star Reviews
Seth Godin (@thisissethsblog) is an entrepreneur, a teacher, a Marketing Hall of Fame inductee, a daily blogger, the host of the Akimbo podcast, and the author of 19 international bestsellers. His latest is This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See.
What We Discuss with Seth Godin:
- Why it’s possible to suffer from imposter syndrome simultaneously with entitlement.
- Why the market for media is so fragmented today, and what it means for content creators, advertisers, and consumers.
- Why you can trade for attention, but you can’t trade for trust.
- The simple sentence you can use to remind yourself that you’re not going to do better work by heeding your one-star reviewers.
- Why Seth considers the idea of hustling selfish and akin to bullying.
- And much more…
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider including your handle so we can thank you personally!
Seth Godin is a living tsunami of productivity. He blogs every single day. He hosts a podcast. He’s an entrepreneur who’s been inducted into both the Marketing Hall of Fame and the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame. He’s a teacher who’s trying to change the way we learn. Oh, and he’s also found the time to write 19 international bestsellers — his latest is This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See.
So many of you requested that we interview Seth, so Jordan and Jen flew out to his office in New York to capture him candidly in his native habitat. If you find this episode more off-the-cuff than our usual fare, perhaps the talk of wabi-sabi, Harper Lee’s one-star reviews, craftsmanship versus quality, and Miles Davis conceiving of and recording perhaps the greatest jazz album of all time made us eager to present it in unvarnished glory. Or maybe it’s the best damn podcast you’ve ever heard in your life and it deserves a five-star review on iTunes! But, you know. Whatever you think is right. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Jordan Harbinger Show receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you for your support! Sign up for Six-Minute Networking — our free networking and relationship development mini course — at jordanharbinger.com/course!
Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn is the podcast where it’s all about working hard now so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. Give it a listen here!
THANKS, SETH GODIN!
If you enjoyed this session with Seth Godin, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at :
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Resources from This Episode:
- Akimbo: A Podcast by Seth Godin
- This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin
- The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin
- The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin
- Other Books by Seth Godin
- Seth Godin’s Website
- Seth Godin’s Blog
- Seth Godin at Instagram
- Seth Godin at
- Seth Godin at
- Deep Dive | How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome, TJHS 127
- Akimbo Workshops
- One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), Two Years On by Nicholas Negroponte, EG 2007
- Taking OLPC to Colombia by Nicholas Negroponte, TED in the Field
- Larry King Live, Wikipedia
- 17 Things You Might Not Know About MASH, Mental Floss
- The Carol Burnett Show
- Mad Men
- Tile Mate Key Finder
- W. Edwards Deming: The 14 Points, Deming Institute
- We Can Do Better than Meeting Spec, Seth’s Blog
- Wabi-Sabi: The Art Of Imperfection, Utne Reader
- Broken a Pot? Copy the Japanese and Fix It with Gold (Kintsugi), BBC
- Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets Philosophers by Leonard Koren
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Kind Of Blue by Miles Davis
- Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way by Steven Pressfield
- The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer
Transcript for Seth Godin | Shining in the Light of One-Star Reviews (Episode 234)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:03] Welcome to the show. I’m Jordan Harbinger. As always, I’m here with producer Jason DeFillippo. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world’s most brilliant and interesting people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that we can use to impact our own lives and those around us.
[00:00:21] Today, one of the most prolific authors of our time, 18 international bestsellers. He blogs every single day on one of the most popular blogs anywhere on the Internet. I’ve known Seth Godin for years now and if you’ve ever had or overheard a conversation about marketing, you can’t go more than a few minutes without someone quoting Seth Godin. If you dig deep enough into Seth’s work so you can see his influence all over corporate and startup culture as well as publishing and even education. You all requested said so many times that I flew out to his office in New York to do this interview. Of course, talking with an old friend is always a good time and it was a lot of fun to hear his thoughts on how to stand out in the crowd, do something that lights you up and is profitable and valuable to others at the same time. Seth’s thinking is really on another level. If you’re not familiar with his work, then this episode will really shake up the way you think about your work life and what you bring to the world.
[00:01:15] If you want to know how we’ve got such great guests here on the show. Yeah, the numbers speak for themselves. I wish that were true. It’s about the network. It’s about systems and tiny habits. It’s about outreach and maintaining those connections. I’m teaching you how to do that for free over at Six-Minute Networking. jordanharbinger.com/course is where you can find that. And by the way, most of the guests here on the show actually subscribe to the course in the newsletter, so come join us and you’ll be in some pretty Smart company. All right, here’s Seth Godin.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:44] So you’re viewed as a successful person for as far as your work is concerned. I don’t know much about your personal life. Rather than starting with your successes, which I’ll include, of course, in the introduction, I would love to start with some failures because I think people look at successful people like you and they go, “This guy never had to worry about much. You know, he’s successful and he’s been successful, and as far as Google’s concerned, he’s always been that way.”
Seth Godin: [00:02:08] Okay. I mean I am aversed to the failure Olympics because I think sometimes it gives us a place to hide. But there are two kinds of failures. I have failed more times than anyone who’s watching this In terms of projects brought forward that didn’t resonate. When I was a book packager, I got 800 rejections in a row and for more than 10 years I was on the edge of bankruptcy four weeks away from being completely out of money. When we were building Yoyodyne, the company that ended up going to Yahoo, our biggest client was AOL, and at one point the VP of AOL said to me on the phone, “If you set foot on our campus, I will have you arrested.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:48] Oh wow.
Seth Godin: [00:02:49] Right. So it was high stakes and there are things that I brought, you know, books I worked on for a year that sold 1000 copies. There were projects…Another thing we did for AOL was one of the best ideas I ever had. We worked on it for a year. We built the whole thing out and a week before it launched, AOL switched its business model from a royalty to a flat rate, which meant the project got canceled. And so there’s a lot of bumper cars when you decide to do a life of projects, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The real failure that I think is worth talking about, it’s way more interesting now that I’ve survived. The other con is the failure of inaction and like everyone, I have a really long list of that. What are the things I could have done and don’t do? Who are the people I could have helped but didn’t? And that’s the kind of thing I try to pay attention to because I know a lot of people who have succeeded and the reason they succeeded is because they persisted, but also because they protected against the downside. So they still protect against the downside. But what could they have accomplished if they’d protected a little bit less against the downside and instead said it doesn’t matter that this might fail. What matters is that this is worth trying, and that’s something I try to motivate myself to do all the time.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:13] When you see people protecting against the downside, what are you primarily referring to? These are kind of a common example of people being overly risk-averse or
Seth Godin: [00:04:21] Well, the most important good way to protect against the downside is you never want to get thrown out of the game. The reason I can confidently say I’ve failed more than most people is because I haven’t gotten thrown out of the game. I got to keep trying. I did thousands of book ideas and published 120 books as a book packager and only three of them became big bestsellers. That means I had 117 that disappointed the publisher. Staying in the game makes it so that you’re not thrown out. But the thing that people avoid is the one-star review on Yelp. The person in the audience who doesn’t laugh at your talk, the engagement with a customer who’s furious at you. Well, maybe it’s not for them. And if you have a way to make promises that aren’t disingenuous. They don’t undermine your reputation. And then you can make people whole when it doesn’t match. Well then fine, it’s not for you. To have somebody goes to a horror movie and it’s too scary, just give the guys his 9 back. Don’t feel like you shouldn’t have made it. I have a podcast coming out about, for whatever reason, I talk about Stanley Kubrick a lot, 2001 was trashed by the critics when it came out. That it was boring, that it was poorly made. So what should Kubrick have done? Pulled it from the theater. Of course.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:42] Not kind of work at blockbuster.
Seth Godin: [00:05:43] Yeah, right, but you make the movie knowing some people aren’t going to like it. If you want everyone to like what you do…You can’t even open like an ice cream stand because people are allergic to ice cream.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:57] What did you do to almost to have the threat of being arrested at AOL?
Seth Godin: [00:06:01] Okay, AOL story went like this. I invented, with my team at Yoyodyne, commercial email. If you’ve ever gotten an email you want it to get, that’s because we invented it. It was 1990 long before the web and we ran games of skill and sweepstakes using email because there was no worldwide web. One of our big clients was AOL. One of our big clients was Carter Wallace, the people would make Arrdi Extra-Dry Deodorant. If you were playing the Arrid Extra-Dry Deodorant game, you got an email every week and if you’ve got the questions right, you moved up in the standings and at the end, you would win, I don’t know a car or something. If you play in the AOL game, you are getting emails every week about parts of AOL that you could go research on AOL and have fun and win a prize. Well, Monday the emails went out and for whatever reason the AOL players, there were 400,000 got the Arrid Extra-Dry email by mistake. And this was when AOL stock was going up every day. So not good, not good and so I had this long, long distraught meeting with my tech people and they built all this stuff and a week later, I get to the office and they’d done it again. I called down to Virginia, which is where AOL was. And I said, “Audrey,” that was the vice president, “I can’t tell you how, sorry, I’m going to fly down there. Just express my concern. I’m really sorry.” And that’s when she threatened to have me arrested if I show up on campus. So we then hired a great expense this guy, we got him to quit his job, 50-year-old who was grown up, who would build a whole system. And then third week I get to the office at 4:00 a.m., I checked it and it’s mixed up again. I called Dan my head of engineering in our Boston office and if it hadn’t been a basement office, he would’ve jumped out the window. It turns out what this guy had built was a system that showed just four of us what was about to happen. So only four people got the email the third week and it was fixed after that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:10] I’m getting anxiety hearing it. I can imagine. Yeah. Well, okay, so you’ve had a bunch of failures. That’s the failure Olympics. I’m with you on that. I feel like there are people now who are just like, here’s this even bigger. Oh well, let me tell you, let me one-up your story about that. And this thing I almost did to myself on purpose so that I had a story for your podcast. I get that. Do you ever have imposter syndrome these days or is that kind of a thing that you’ve put behind you?
Seth Godin: [00:08:38] Yeah. So for those people who aren’t heard, the term imposter syndrome applies to both sexes, genders, but women, in particular, feel it, which is, I’m a fraud. What right do I have to be on the stage? What right do I have to be publishing this idea or running this podcast? And I have really strong feelings about this and some people are made uncomfortable by it, but here we go. Of course, you’re an imposter. Of course, you feel that way. What right do you have to be sure that you can define the future? You can’t. If you don’t feel insecure, you’re a psychopath. The fact is when you feel like an impostor, it means you’re onto something. It means you’re leaning out of the boat doing generous work. If you’re not feeling that way, you’re not working hard enough.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:27] What does it mean when I hit simultaneously think why isn’t my work bigger? And also maybe I shouldn’t be leaning out of the bed. I have imposter syndrome and entitlement or something that whatever that’s called.
Seth Godin: [00:09:37] And then I think they go together because you believe that you are doing something generous. And what we see in our culture is who’s number one on YouTube? Who’s number one on billboard? Who’s number one on TV? And they don’t mention that they’re, you know, 142 TV shows and only one can be number one. They don’t mention the average podcast in this country as 145 listeners average. Your podcast could be great. It is not related to the fact that someone else has more listeners to you. Those are separate thing and there are tactics and strategies that you can use to get more people to see what you do, but the number of people who see what you do is not related to the goodness of what you do.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:21] I think that’s important because I know that people, I don’t know if it’s just an American thing, we’re obsessed with charts, we’re obsessed with rankings. Everything is competitive and that’s good because it makes the free market a little better. But there’s some part of us that goes, well if I’m not number one that I’m garbage or my work is garbage. And that’s inherently unhealthy because nobody can start at number one. I mean not really yet.
Seth Godin: [00:10:48] Unless you realize that the whole thing is about categories, the taxonomy of what categories. So I will never have a number one Billboard single because I don’t make music. Well, if you can invent a category you get to be number one in it and I’ve been doing that my whole career. I was the number one creator of CD-ROMs for parents when I did my Fisher-Price CD-ROM title because it was the only one. I was to do books with Amazon. I was number one in my category. You don’t have to be a pioneer. But the benefit of being a pioneer is yet to invent a category that’s very small and you can be number one.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:26] Right. And then, you just spend, hopefully, not too much time looking over your shoulder going hope nobody else figured this out.
Seth Godin: [00:11:32] Or actually, you want everyone else to figure it out. And that’s the other thing. I was at a trade show this weekend in the fancy food industry and the people who are at the trade show aren’t competing with each other. There isn’t the problem of this chocolate versus that chocolate. The problem is that 99 percent of people don’t buy any expensive chocolate. That’s the competition. The competition is always none of the above. The competition is didn’t just show up. Right now with the altMBA and with the Akimbo workshops, we’re trying to reinvent the way people learn. Who is my competition? My competition is cat videos.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:09] Which are pretty compelling depending on who you’re asking. But yeah, maybe not the same level of value as somebody who flies here from South Africa to learn from you. I love the idea that school is failing idea generators, mold breakers, and there’s this old model of school because I’m learning more now as an adult than I ever felt like I did as a kid. It makes me a little nervous because now I feel like, “Oh I’ve got to make up for lost time because if this is what learning was supposed to be like, what the hell was I doing for 30, 27 years in school and in grad school?” What should younger people or people, in general, be doing to maybe improve the way that they educate themselves or improve the way that they learn?
Seth Godin: [00:12:50] Well, so I used the words education and learning differently. Education is a management system to get you to comply. There’s a prize at the end, there’s a certificate. Whereas learning requires enrollment and voluntarily saying, ”I want to move forward.” The most important thing we can teach is thirst.-the desire to learn. Once you want to learn, the amount of things you can learn goes to infinity because everyone has it. Every course they ever need to take is right in front of them. The problem is when we try to do it to people against their will.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:26] Sure. Yeah. I don’t remember willingly going this well after a while. It’s just beaten into submission basically. But now, I don’t have enough time to read all the books that I want. There’s none of that time for me to take all the courses that I want online or in-person for that matter. I can’t get to school fast enough.
Seth Godin: [00:13:44] From the time, you’re six or seven, what coaches and teachers and parents say is, “Why didn’t you get an A? Why did you go?” Well, no wonder no one wants to play that game. It’s stacked against you that if we could figure out how to create a cycle of wasn’t that fun. No one learns how to walk or ride a bike from a course. We learn how to do it by trying it, failing, and trying again. And so we are born wanting to know that skill. We learn a skill, but then we are brainwashed into stopping.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:18] I think there’s also an element of us being brainwashed into thinking we can’t do it on our own. I don’t remember a whole lot of people, even when I was younger encouraging me, my parents, of course, but school, it kind of wasn’t, “Hey, research this on your own, figure it out on your own.” And I remember the one or two times teachers actually went, “Whoa, you’re learning how to read on your own. I’m just going to let you do that.” It was kind of like, “Stop reading the first graders book when you’re in kindergarten. And read this dumb book.”
Seth Godin: [00:14:43] It’s compliance. Yeah.
Seth Godin: [00:14:45] Right. And, you know, the same thing happens to the adults that I put on the spot all the time. I told the story last week when we were building Yoyodyne I was hiring a person a week and for a small company that’s a lot. I ran a full-page ad in the New York Times, 500 people responded. We had two sessions of a hundred people each came to hear me give my pitch once. I wouldn’t have to repeat it to every single person. Then we put them into groups of five and my employees went and sat in each group interview with five to find out if there are people like us. Then they went to a smaller group. So, I would sit at a group of people with five and I’d say, “All right, here’s the deal,” and I had to make it more and more specific because people kept misunderstanding the question. I don’t really care about the answer, but if I want to know how many gas stations there were in the United States without you using any outside information, how would you figure it out? And I would say this to the group of five and every single time they found three categories.-one person would take out a pad, two people would say no to whatever anybody else said, and one or two people would lead. “Well, we could do this. What do you think about this? Oh, let’s see there this many companies. It’s so good. How many cars? How many people?’ That’s that person. Then this other person who’s writing down whatever they say. “Nah, what else you got.” Well, who do you think I hired?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:16] We need a mixed don’t you? You don’t you went to leaders.
Seth Godin: [00:16:20] This wasn’t really about leaders, it was about curiosity because all we were doing as an organization with solving problems that hadn’t been solved before. I didn’t need people to do repeated tasks. I needed people to solve problems that hadn’t been solved before. They could be big or small and if you’re afraid of solving a problem without a textbook, without a manual, I can’t fight that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:42] And you probably don’t want the person who’s nay-saying and you probably don’t need to scribe it as much. We can find them anywhere.
Seth Godin: [00:16:47] Again, we got a few of those people, but in general, every time I heard the curious person, I got a curious person, and curious people in fast-changing times and the people you want by your side.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:57] Especially as somebody who’s not afraid to voice an idea in a group where they think that person might also take their job. That’s somebody who’s not afraid of a little bit of risk and also it doesn’t have a scarcity mindset that’s going to cost them back, unplug someone else’s computer or whatever.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:17:13] You’re listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Seth Godin. We’ll be right back.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:17] This episode is sponsored in part by Skillshare. Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes covering dozens and dozens really of creative and entrepreneurial skills. They’ve got photography, creative writing, design productivity. Jason didn’t they have like chess in there and stuff too.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:17:36] We’ve got all sorts of things. I’m actually taking an Adobe Audition course because I’ve got a project coming up where I have to use Adobe Audition, but since I have Skillshare, I can get up to speed pretty quickly and I tell you what the classes are. They’re actually taught by really skilled people.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:52] That are sharing their skills. I get it. I see what you did there, skilled share.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:17:55] There you go.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:57] I think this is important lifelong learning is obviously important to me. It’s important to Jason. It’s important to most of you all listening as well. So, join the millions of students already learning on Skillshare today and we’ve got a deal for them, Jason.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:18:08] Join the millions of students already learning on Skillshare today with a special offer just for our listeners, get two months of Skillshare for free. That’s right. Skillshare is offering The Jordan Harbinger Show listeners two months of unlimited access to thousands of classes for free. To sign up, go to skillshare.com/harbinger. Again, go to skillshare.com/harbinger to start your two months now. That’s skillshare.com/harbinger H-A-R-B-I-N-G-E-R.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:33] This episode is also sponsored by Design Crowd. Crowdsourcing is how busy people, especially business owners, like myself, get stuff done in the 21st century and thanks to DesignCrowd you can FOCUS on running your business while handing over the reins for your company’s logo, web design, t-shirt, you name it to a pool of over 715,000. I love how that keeps. Every time we do a read, they see that that numb0er increases 715,000 designers around the world. DesignCrowd crowdsources, custom work based on your specs, and then you pick the design that you like best. So here’s what you do. Go to designcrowd.com/jordan. You post a brief describing of what you want from the art that you need. DesignCrowd invites 715,000-ish designers from Sydney to San Francisco to respond. You get a couple of designs that the first few hours over a week and change, you get 60 a hundred I think we got like 300 when we tried those different pieces from designers around the world. You pick the ones you like, you approve payment to the designers, and if you don’t like any of the designs you get, DesignCrowd offers a money-back guarantee, Jason.
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[00:19:51] Thanks for listening and supporting the show. To learn more and get links to all the great discounts you just heard from our amazing sponsors, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals. Don’t forget we have a worksheet for today’s episode so you can make sure you solidify your understanding of the key takeaways from Seth Godin. That link is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. If you’d like some tips on how to subscribe to the show, just go to jordanharbinger.com/subscribe. Subscribing to the show is absolutely free. It just means you get all the latest episodes downloaded automatically to your podcast player as they’re released so you don’t miss a single thing from the show. Now back to our show with Seth Godin.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:29] You bring this idea up in Akimbo. There’s an example of these kids getting laptops. Is it Africa or South America?
Seth Godin: [00:20:35] Yeah, it was Africa with Nicholas Negroponte.
Jordan Harbinger: [0:20:38] And this is fascinating because I’m thinking, oh well, you know, I totally tried to guess where the story’s going. I don’t know if that’s just from watching too many movies or if that’s human nature. I was wrong. I thought, oh, they’re going to get these and they’re going to find Candy Crush, and then nothing ever happened, and the tablets ran out of batteries, and that was the end. Somebody played candy crush until they ran out. But that’s not what happened. The self-learning process is much different than the bash people into compliance factory workers process.
Seth Godin: [00:21:06] No one had ever spent time pushing these kids to obey. There was no school. They had never been to school. They were functionally illiterate. They were born to grow up to work in the field. And when Nicholas is the founder of the MIT media lab, so he does things that are on the edge and with rigor. They tracked every single behavior on every one of these tablets. The kids taught themselves to read. They taught themselves to hack the system so that they could use the camera and other tools in it. And mostly they taught each other how to use it because no one had ever told them not to do those things. And instead of just sitting around doing nothing, they had something to do. The idea of Candy Crush is that Candy Crush is an opiate. It’s designed to take your mind, your noise around you. But if you’re not surrounded by this ever-competitive noise, candy questions more right? It’s supposed to be boring, is not boring. To learn how to edit Wikipedia and that’s what these kids did.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:07] I’m very impressed that they’ve learned how to do it. I mean it takes me a while to figure out how to edit Wikipedia. They certainly don’t make it as user-friendly as it probably could be these days and I think that’s a little bit by design because it makes vandalism a little more difficult.
Seth Godin: [00:22:18] For sure. So here’s the interesting statistic that I just looked up on Wikipedia. 32 million people have a registered account on Wikipedia. 3,900 people are authorized to start a new article in Wikipedia without oversight. That’s the size of the funnel. One in 10,000 meaning that most people that Wikipedia simply fixed typos, a few thousand people really get deep into it and 3,800 of them are the actual “staff of Wikipedia.” That funnel is fascinating because it applies to most forms of everything. When you think about out of every 30 million people who say, I paint, how many of them are cutting edge artists that belong in the Metropolitan [indiscernible] [00:23:05]? It’s not a talent thing. It’s a skill and commitment thing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:12] That’s important. That’s an important point. I think that’s more important than I originally had given a credit for it because a lot of us will say, “I can’t really do that. I don’t have the natural skill,” or, “Man, it’s going to take me 20 years to build that level of skill.” But since that’s not the metrical really required to have to do anything important. It becomes not irrelevant, but certainly less important and less relevant than we might’ve thought.
Seth Godin: [00:23:34] Right, because most of the things we celebrate in the media and the culture, our talents. How tall are you? Can you dunk a basketball? How fast you are on the buzzer in jeopardy? These are things that I will argue you might be wired for but the other stuff.-persistent, open-minded, curious, generous, driven those things are harder to build a game show around, but that’s the rest of our lives. Those are the people who end up running the rest of our lives because that’s what makes the culture work.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:09] I think we all know it’s cheaper for big companies to make, as you said, average things for average people, but now we’re seeing all these micro-market subcultures and influencers. So, there’s no Larry King Live anymore. I mean maybe it exists but not really in the way that it did in the 90s. We’re like there were news articles that I read when I do research on people. It says during Larry King Live, a plane crashed into and it was like, well that must have been at 10:00 p.m. on every weeknight because everyone was watching this. That kind of isn’t a thing and unless it happens during Game of Thrones or something. And even then it’s like, “Oh well on Tuesday,“ that’s when I watched it. So late-night TV, even those are the big things that people talk about and those are fragmented and those are competitive and those hosts are crying in their cereal about the lack of ratings and giant shows like Bill Maher or whatever on HBO.
Seth Godin: [00:25:00] You have a giant show. Your show is bigger than Bill Maher.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:04] I learned that recently and I was like that’s not right. And then I asked people to have the secret inside details. And I went, well where’s my contract with HBO. Where’s my giant sound studio?
Seth Godin: [00:25:15] Right. Well, there the legacy business. That’s right. Yours is a growing one that we could talk forever about the dynamics here. But what happened was the FCC said there are only three channels that scarcity. Everyone’s watching TV that creates this value. The programming was not, how do I get more people to watch TV? It’s how do I get them to not watch one of the other two networks? Because the game theory is pretty simple, which is if I get a third, I win just a third. That’s plenty. And so if you’re running a commercial against one-third of the American population, you better sell them something they want to buy. Because that’s a lot of people. So you have Heinz Ketchup and Kraft Singles and Ford Motor. But then the FCC stops mattering at all and we go from three channels to Larry King. He actually wasn’t as big as it may seem today. He was tiny compared to MASH or to Carol Burnett. Then you go to a hundred cable channels and then you go from a hundred cable channels to a billion Internet chat. If there are a billion Internet channels, if there are 70 million blogs, if there are five million or whatever it is podcasts, there’s no shortage of things to tune into. And by definition, there will be some hits because we like to have something that we can buzz about. But even the hits are tiny compared to what they used to be. The Mad Men, which was considered the greatest TV show of its time three million people tuned in every episode.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:48] Which is like if your podcast had that you’d be one of the top podcasters. But I don’t know if you’ve beaten Rogan at that point,
Seth Godin: [00:26:54] But if you’re on TV in 1970 that was the last three million. There was no TV show that had fewer viewers than three million in the 1970s really? Yeah. Wow. I guess the last place because you add a third, if you just tied, right, if you just tied, you had 60 million, 50 million, 40 million people watching you. This is three million. It’s Mad Men because the whole thing fractures and if the whole thing fractures, number one, it’s not clear advertising makes sense. But if advertising does make sense, why on earth would you advertise average stuff when you could buy specific places to put your ads? So if you know that it’s a vegan podcast, you can sell them vegan stuff which you never used to be able to buy an ad for vegan stuff. Where could you afford to do that? So now we’re way out on the long tail because it’s also true at the very same time, just a coincidence. Container ships plus robots plus computers means we can make obscure edge case products at a reasonable price. If you think about a product like the Tile. I have one on my keys here. This thing can help you find your keys if you lose them.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:08] Right, little Bluetooth dongle or whatever.
Seth Godin: [00:28:10] In 1970, you could never afford it to make this because you would’ve need needed to find 40 million people who would go to Kmart to buy one because you needed shelf space. ”Oh, we don’t need shelf space. We have Amazon, unlimited shelf space.” So all these things line up 3D printer to make the prototype 3D problem driver blah blah blah. So you don’t need to sell that many Tile the first year to be glad you started the company that was inconceivable in 1970 so all these things lined up at the same time to create this long fracture thing, which means that most ideas are underwater. Most of the songs on iTunes sell zero copies a year. Most of the Kindle books sold zero copies a month, zero because it’s under the line. There’s a whole bunch of sell one, as I said, podcast, have 145 listeners. So you knock them down and make a living at it. It’s a great hobby. So what we’re going to end up with is all this churn at the long tail and then the short head when the Rogan’s or whatever sharp is a hit because hits are harder to find. You can make money from it. And because there’s so much cheaper to make, you don’t have to make that much money to be glad you did.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:23] So knowing this, can we make a huge impact like we used to be able to do by getting a hit or creating something and having it resonate with the masses? Like is it, is it harder now or does it just look harder or are we kind of like
Seth Godin: [00:29:37] That do you mean by a hit. You mean change the culture? Or do you mean we make a lot of money?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:27] Yeah. Is there even a such thing as cultural radar anymore at all?
Seth Godin: [00:29:48] We want there to be cultural radar and so there is. It’s not I watched 40 episodes of Seinfeld, it might just be yada, yada, yada. And there’s a whole bunch of people who know what you just said, right? So it’s a memeification of how we talk about it. But what’s really happening, and I think we see this beautifully in the way the gay marriage movement succeeded so quickly, is what are your friends doing? People like us do things like this. The people around you, what do you see? And so what they realized was they didn’t need to make a case or change everyone’s mind. They simply needed to make it so that people who cared about the issue would normalize it enough to the people around them. So even though there wasn’t a central broadcast a central show, it becomes this ground’s up groundswell, fine. And so it’s done, right? And so we’re going to see the culture keep changing horizontally, not the vertical way. The vertical way was Oprah would have somebody on who said something that was hurt by 25 million women at two o’clock in the afternoon and then boom, it’s on the radar. This is slower than that and more horizontal than that. But it will change the culture because the T culture wants to change and people want to be in sync with their people.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:16] That makes sense. And it sort of leads me to what probably sounds like a dumb question, which is does it still make sense for us to do good work, the high quality work? And of course it does, but it kind of seems like it depends on the measurement.
Seth Godin: [00:31:31] The semantics matters so much. So let’s be clear about what quality means. Sure. Quality does not mean deluxe. Quality does not mean expensiveness. Those words are often associated with quality, quality. Edwards Deming, Phil Crosby, their definition meet spec. If you meet spec every time you have created something of quality. So a Toyota is higher quality than the 1968 Rolls Royce because ‘90 ‘68 rolls Royce made my hand broke down more than a 1990 Toyota. It was higher quality met spec. The production of almost everything in our lives, food chain, the mechanical devices, we buy way higher than any time in history cause engineers figured out how to improve quality. Okay. Now if I get a Kindle book and it’s filled with typos, so it’s low quality. If I get a Kindle book and it’s a trashy romance, well, was it marketed as a trashy romance. Well was it marketed? Because if it isn’t, it’s a high quality trashy. It meets spec.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:39] it meets spec.
Seth Godin: [00:32:41] So what does it mean to do good work? Well, I think they do anything good work, great work is good work, met spec, Great work, you can’t stop talking about it. So, it exceeded your expectations that you have to spread the word. And therefore, if we want to have a change in culture, we have to be remarkable. And what it means to be remarkable is to do something great. That doesn’t mean quality. It might mean the opposite of quality. It might be Wabi-Sabi it might be humanity to it. So when, when you saw, John Stewart, choking up last week when he was testifying before the Senate and the house that was low quality and it was excellent work. Because he didn’t finish his sentences, he got choked up in his words. So he didn’t deliver the word properly. But it was remarkable. It got seen by millions of people. It made a difference too because it was human cause it was great work. And so I think our obligation is to not be as sort of full perfectionism of holding it back because it’s not perfect, but instead, say this is important and I’m going to do what’s necessary to make an important.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:57] Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese art form when they sort of…Did they deliberately break the pot and then glue it together with gold or does it?
Seth Godin: [00:34:04] There is a thing It starts with a K. I can never remember what that’s called. Okay. So if you went to Japan in 1960 and said Wabi-Sabi, no one would know what you meant was actually a psychoanalyst in the United States, Leonard Koren, wrote a book called Wabi-Sabi in which he conflated too, whereas Wabi and Sabi and basically I’m not going to literal translation one means a death and one means nature and one implies handmade. It’s their reality of use. And so AstroTurf [00:24:40] lawn in the suburbs might be perfect, but a playground has Wabi-Sabi. You can see the footprints of the kids who came before you. A catcher’s mitt. It’s brand new from the store is new, but a warning catcher’s mitt is worth more because it has Wabi-Sabi. it’s been there and it’s on its way to going away. And so yes, there is a Japanese form of sculpture where you intentionally break a sculpture and then glue it together. We would go to show that that’s our lives, right? Our lives are nothing but our scars are the things that didn’t work out and I treasure them. We each do that. My failures are more important to me than my success because it’s my failures that made it so I could be here.
[00:35:23] That idea of Wabi-Sabi and humanity flies in the face of what happens when you see CBS make a three-minute piece of video. You know I was on CBS a couple of weeks ago. Really good people. There’s only two of you here. There were five of them and they were here for hours to make a three-minute thing cause they wanted to take out all the Wabi-Sabi. They want it to be like not, and this really happened, but that this is all takes version of what happens. And one of the reasons that Hollywood movies cost so much is that when you have an unlimited budget, you spend the last half of it taken out all this stuff that would make it look real.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:02] That wasn’t lit perfectly. Or if there was a, someone walked by outside, we have to get rid of that. And it’s w yeah, we’re in Seth’s office. You know what? What’s this? There are wires in the shot. There are wires in the shot, there are wires in the office. People like that about podcasting. The Wabi-Sabi is there until there’s just too much of Wabi that everything else gets lost in
Seth Godin: [00:36:24] I recorded my podcasts in the bathroom right behind us here in the shower. And I lined it with some foam and I just go in there and I hit record and I have no staff other than Alex who does the final edit for me because I figured that’s what people wanted from me.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:39] To be clear, you’re not actually taking a shower.
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Seth Godin: [00:36:42] I can turn on the water. I don’t know what would happen.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:45] That might be a little yes, no more Wabi-Sabi. it’s more like wet. Yeah. Wet.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:36:52] You’re listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest, Seth Godin. We’ll be right back after this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:57] This episode is sponsored in part by Manscaped. Now, this was a product I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I don’t know what to do with it.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:09] They literally called manscape. While I was, I knew what to do with it. I mean it’s right there on the tin, literally called manscaped. And I thought, okay, so this is what precision-engineered tools for your family jewels. I think that’s their slogan, which is kind of creative. I see what you did there. Now, this is, this is delicate. You should handle this one delicately, right Jason, just like you would handle your junk and they’ve got this electric trimmer that they’ve in redesigned. A lot of us will go and shave with a regular razor and they’ve got, it’s called, and I’m not even kidding, The Lawn Mower 2.0, which has proprietary skin-safe technology. So it’s not going to nick or snag your nuts.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:26] Well also you’re just playing with fire. What happens when those blaze gets all it puts out a couple of hairs. What happens when that happens? Down understand. Not good at all. So I think it’s good that this is specifically made for it also. They sent us a really nice, I mean these came in and I, I’m not going to lie, I was fairly surprised. Super high quality. The bag that came in was of high quality. I actually, once saw this, I requested one for you, for Gabriel and for a couple of other people here on the team. Did Fogarty get one?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:38:57] Oh, yes he did. And he has used it and he said that the summer will be much cooler now. Thanks to Manscaped.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:02] Got it. Hashtag TMI. So anyway, let’s tell them about the deal. I need a shower after this read. But, Jason, tell him about the deal we got from them.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:38] It’s funny. Stuff you didn’t know you needed, right. Oh my goodness. All right.
[00:39:43] This episode is sponsored in part by Better Help. I love these guys. I can’t believe this didn’t exist earlier. I’m a big fan of therapy. You’ve heard me recommend it a lot on Feedback Friday. But I also, I drink my own Kool-Aid, if you will. I eat my own dog food, that was what I was meaning to say. I love therapy. I think it’s healthy. I think everyone should have it. Here’s the thing people go, “Oh well you know, I don’t have any.” If you’re sane, you need therapy to stay that way, even if you just talk to somebody once a month, once a freaking quarter, seriously, it’s worth it. Better Help offers licensed professional counselors, which is key. Don’t be hiring some life coach thinking you’re getting actual therapy.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:20] It’s not the same. No hate on life coaches. I mean a little, but they’re not. They’re pissed. If you’ve got depression, stress, anxiety, relationships, stuff, sleeping stuff, trauma stuff, anger stuff, all that. Self-esteem issues, all that huge list of stuff that needs to be handled by a professional in order for you to stay productive, sane, healthy, et cetera, and I love that. It’s confidential. It’s private. You can text, you can video chat. This is not driving across town. Finding a parking space, making sure you’ve got the appointment time right. This is to go to your car during your lunch hour because you have 40 minutes, half-hour, whatever to do a session. That’s what I’m talking about. That’s 21st- century therapy right there, Jason. We’ve got a deal for him, right?
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:24] This episode is also sponsored in part by Progressive.
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[00:41:50] Thank you for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps us on the air and to learn more and get links to all the great discounts you just heard it so you can check out those amazing sponsors, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals. Don’t forget the worksheet for today’s episode. That link is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. And if you’re listening to us on the Overcast player, please click that little star next to the episode. It really helped us out. Now for the conclusion of our episode with Seth Godin.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:19] Let me tell you where I get a little discouraged there. There are podcasts that talk about real housewives. What the host had for breakfast. She’s drinking three glasses of wine deep when she does it, it has twice the audience that I have technically. Yeah, probably more like five X. It’s you know, super profitable and everyone’s going. We want to buy ads on that one, but then there is an element of, well not ads for things that may be Smart. People would buy it because they’re not listening to that, but you’ll never have better ratings then. Sure. Jersey Shore or something that makes us all go, oh, give him cringe with the brands are paying the person to not wear the clothing.
Seth Godin: [00:42:57] Right, right. If you AB tested website enough, it will turn into a porn site.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:03] Really think about is that an experiment that actually was running.
Seth Godin: [00:43:06], but the thing about it, because you have two ads, one ad has someone sort of unclosed one ad it doesn’t, which is going to get more clicks. You have two things that people can do. One involves getting a short term hit of endorphin. One doesn’t like bit by bit by bit. It’s going to keep pushing you in a direction for a certain audience. If you look, why is the spam from Nigeria so poorly written,
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:30] deliberately filtering in people that would fall for it.
Seth Godin: [00:43:33] Exactly. Yeah, because it cost them a ton to get you to the next six steps of interaction. They don’t want a Smart person in the funnel because it’s just going to break before they pay. They want dumb people in the function. And so the question I would ask you is what’s your goal? If your goal is to maximize the income from podcasts, then the quality you want is the dumbest, most prurient short fix, quick hit, then you could come up with, because advertisers are obsessed with mass and perversely pay extra to reach large numbers of undifferentiated people when they should be paying less per head than that. They pay more per head because they’re lazy and traditional. So if you, if that’s the work you’re proud of, this is easiest in the world to do.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:18] It’s not. It makes me want to take this pencil and push it as hard as I can to my eardrum.
Seth Godin: [00:44:21] don’t think you should because you’re comparing apples to oranges that those people, what they really should be doing instead of our podcast is making a network show. They’re failing too because they only have one-tenth of reach they’d have on network TV, so it’s a hierarchy but it’s not a ladder you want to be on. Instead, you’re saying for the people on a journey I care about, I can go with you over there. Who wants to come? And that’s not the way to maximize your profit way to maximize your profits, go to work at Goldman Sachs. This is the way to maximize your impact on the people you seek to serve.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:59] Do people come to you and say things like, how do I stay motivated to do what matters rather than what makes a profit in the short term or is that a question you’d think that they should be able to answer on their own by existing?
Seth Godin: [00:45:12] I don’t get asked that question. I don’t do any consulting or coaching, so I don’t get asked as many questions as you think. Sure. But the question I get asked much more often than that is, I have been moved by the muse to do X. I want Y and I’m not getting it. How dare the culture do that? How can I fix it? That sense of entitlement happens constantly, and the answer is what made you think that X and Y were related? You’re entitled to do X, you’re not entitled to get Y, that there might be a disconnect between the X you’re doing and the Y you think you’re entitled to get, and it’s that, but that and that is getting in the way of your joy. I can tell you how to get that kind of output, but you won’t be able to do the kind of art you say you want to do something for them. And what I write about in This is Marketing is most marketers say, “I have a key. Show me the lock it fits.” That’s a really dumb way to get into a house. It’s a Smart way to say, “Here’s a lock. Why don’t you go make a key that will open that?” That makes much more sense. That is a service mindset built on empathy. I’m not going to force you to change for me to serve you. I’m going to go to who you are, where you are going and bring you something that you know you need.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:36] What advice would you have for someone than somebody who, as you put it in a, is it the Icarus Deception? I always messed this title up. That’s the name of the book? Yes. Did it have another title or was there just a misprint in an article that was big that had the title wrong or allegedly?
Seth Godin: [00:46:52] In my head it had another title, but in real life, it never had another time.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:56] What was the title that was in your head?
Seth Godin: [00:46:55] I don’t remember.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:58] Okay, maybe I heard it on a podcast or something because it is just polluting my brain. What advice would you have for people who fly too low? Right, because there are people who are making things that think this doesn’t matter. There’s too much noise. No one cares about deeper thought anymore. That person might be me. Maybe I’m using it as my therapist right now, but in a way, right? Because there are people who are going, “Oh, what makes Smart content when everyone’s dumb, which is not necessarily true, but it can feel that
Seth Godin: [00:47:25] Once you make that statement is your next statement. All right, I’ll make content.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:30] But you don’t really want to write. Right?
Seth Godin: [00:47:31] So now we’re back to the, I want to do what I want to do, but I’m not getting what I want to do. You know, the number of blog posts I’ve written that have won the Internet is zero. 7,400 blog posts that I have never had one go super viral. And uh, that is totally fine with me. In fact, what I, I know how to write one of those buckets. I don’t want to write one of those blog posts. Because if I did, I’d get hooked on that and I’d have to do it again. And so I’m flattered when people look to me as a big success except for authors that I really respect Liz Gilbert’s and Malcolm Gladwell’s 20 times as many books as I do. 20 times and 20 times the podcast listeners you do, 20x is a lot.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:18] That’s a lot.
Seth Godin: [00:48:18] And if I was going to FOCUS on that, it would be foolish because if I want to go by Liz Gilbert, I should figure out how to be Liz Gilbert and then maybe I’ll get with Liz Gilbert gets, but there already is a Liz Gilbert. I should just be me and figure out how to organize my overhead so that what I’m getting for being me can sustain me to do it again. That doesn’t mean you don’t try to do outreach that’s appropriate. You don’t try to find leverage and social ratchet and learn how to do that kind of marketing. It just means you don’t do it with a chip on your shoulder. Because this idea that you’re entitled to X because you put the effort in, you just got to go to the floors of museums with artists you never heard of painting after painting from people you never heard of. Go to the record store of records after they’re just as good, they’re just not famous.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:12] Right. And it’s, it’s easy to go, but I’ve been doing this for 12 years. I should and I always have to check myself on that because when I look at, people will say, your YouTube should be bigger. And I go, yeah, so what would you do? And you talk to the expert and they go, “Oh, you know, you need like a snazzy explosion in thumbnail and it hasn’t saved. This quote blew my head up when Seth said it.” And then people will click and then they’ll go, eh, that wasn’t, my head’s not exploding. This is dumb. But then you get more subscribers. Trust for attention. Right. You’re optimizing for
Seth Godin: [00:49:44] it means that I used to respect, now I’ve headlines like this one thing United airlines did will blow your mind. Well. Okay, I clicked once, but I’m never coming back. So in the long run, we’ve seen it again and again and again. In the long run, you can trade for attention, but you can’t trade for trust.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:03] I think that’s a really good point. You see websites that were once that preeminent, whatever magazine and now it’s, it’s called a click farm and they’re not really exaggerating. And you can turn your work into that if you’re not careful by going, wow, look, when I put more cleavage on Instagram, well maybe not for me or you. But some people can do that and they’ll get more followers. But then are you getting people that want to buy your floral arrangements? Are you getting people that want to hear your opinion on something? No, you’re getting emoji.
Seth Godin: [00:50:32] This is a debate we have in the office every day. I don’t use Instagram the way I’m supposed to. I don’t use the way I’m supposed to and I don’t use the way I’m supposed to. And I’m aware of that. But my job is not to make Mark Zuckerberg happy. My job is to work with the people who want to go on this journey with me. And if using a social media outlet, the way that will make the CEO happy will undermine what I’m trying to do, then I don’t want to do it. I’m also not doing a particularly good job making Barnes Noble happy. Right. Fine. That’s not my job.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:04] You turned down this billion dollars in stock options. Was that for Yoyodyne or was that for something else?
Seth Godin: [00:51:09] No, after I sold Yoyodyne I was at Yahoo and um, Bill Gross, the guy who invented so many things on the Internet that he doesn’t always get credit for, including Google’s business model. We had a company called Idealab. And Idealab was the next hot thing. I was going to be a multimodal Steven Spielberg was on the board, it was the real deal. And Bill called me up right around the time I was thinking of leaving Yahoo and he said, we’d love to have you be the chief marketing officer for Idealab. We’re going public in six months and there’s 1 billion in stock options in it. And I said, “No.” And it doesn’t matter that the Internet bubble burst in between the two. I’m sort of sad it didn’t, it would have been great if it really was worth 1 billion because the magic for me was I never again had to say I got to do something for money because I turned down 1 billion.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:04] Right. Great. So why sell out for hundred thousand.
Seth Godin: [00:52:06] Exactly. Done and my life has been better ever since.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:10] I can see that. That’s my follow up to that was what did that teach you about doing things for money? Because yeah, if you’re going to, I used to be a wall street attorney. My bonus check was supposed to be as big as my annual revenue is for this, but I would not, we would not be, he’d be talking to one miserable guy or not at all at this point. And I can see that. I can see that being almost liberating. Like, look, if I didn’t sell out for that, there’s not really an amount of money that’s going to make me then change my principles or make crap.
Seth Godin: [00:52:39] But I also have a lot of other principles about industriousness and for emotion that make me work way harder than I would work if I was just seeking to maximize profits.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:52] How do we know what feedback to listen to? Because we’re getting a lot whenever our work is out there and we’re getting a whole lot of feedback. Some of its unsolicited and I like to improve my show or whatever. People like to improve their writing, their work based on feedback. But it’s, there’s a YouTube comment that says I don’t like your purple glasses. And then there’s different types of people that might love them or not comment on your glasses at all because that’s not the breaking point. How do we really know when it’s not such an obvious example to listen to?
Seth Godin: [00:53:26] So I just recorded a whole podcast about this very topic, so I’m going to try and treat myself too much. But here we go. The most important thing to remember is a simple sentence.-It’s not for you that if someone gives you a piece of feedback that indicates what kind of person they are by the nature of the feedback. So you run an Indian restaurant on the sixth street in New York and you have a 24 spicy vindaloo. If you finish it, you get it for free, it’s that spicy. And someone comes to the restaurant and says, I hate spicy food. It’s really obvious what you should do. And it’s not, take it off the menu. It says to that person, food is two blocks from here. Nothing in the restaurant is spicy. Here’s their phone number. Thanks for stopping by. What I sell is not for you.
[00:54:16] Being able to do that is usually powerful. So I look at the 100 most beloved books ever written, all of them have more one-star reviews on Amazon than any book I’ve ever written. Because if you’re going to write To Kill a Mockingbird or Harry Potter, a lot of people are going to read it. And if a lot of people are going to read it, some of them need to say, “It’s not for me.” And the way they do that is by writing a one-star review. But Harper Lee shouldn’t have read her one-star reviews cause it’s not going to make her a better writer tomorrow. All it says is I don’t like spicy food. Like good luck to you. So that’s the most important thing. Do not go looking for these one-star reviews because they will not help you do better work.
[00:55:00] And it’s in our instinct, people like us to go look for the one-star reviews because we want to put ourselves in this state of angry underdog. Again, beating ourselves up thinking that that’s the fuel for our best work. And I’m not sure that’s true.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:15] It’s like you’ve seen me, Seth. How do you know I do that every single morning? Yeah, there’s a part of that.
Seth Godin: [00:55:22] I haven’t read it. Amazon review in seven years.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:24] That’s probably wise. Yeah. I think looking for like a three-star, that’s where sometimes you get valued. Not always though, right? Maybe more like the email that’s three paragraphs that comes.
Seth Godin: [00:55:34] Emails feels very different to me. Because email isn’t in public. So the person is not trying to raise their status in the hierarchy. Emails not anonymous and email has a history. So if I’ve never heard from you before and you write about a blog post I just wrote, that’s negative, I’m going to ignore you. But if in the 145,000 emails I’ve answered through the years, I’ve seen you float by now and then questioning something, asking about something and then you send me a note that feels really different to me. So, like one of the things I learned is people in Australia don’t like it when you say it’s summer and it’s hot because it’s winter in Australia. So they feel left out. So I now say for people in the Northern hemisphere, right, or whatever, because I want to acknowledge, how did I come to know this? The notice because someone, several people I trust who I had been back and forth who I’ve never met like you know what? We prefer it. If you do this, I’ll listen to that. That’s advice. That’s not feedback.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:41] Yeah, that’s a good point. I think it’s hard to remember it in the moment, but it’s worth revisiting that especially if you find yourself at two o’clock in the morning scrolling through your most critical reviews on whatever platform.
Seth Godin: [00:56:53] Yeah, and also as long as we’re talking about what’s true as opposed to what emotional, if I said to the junior guy’s name the greatest jazz album of all time, maybe Kind Of Blue Miles Davis. Kind of Blue John Coltrane Mile Davis in five days, beginning to end. Got the idea. Five days later it’s completely done. So if Miles Davis and then you can leave, if you listen carefully, you’ll hear their mistakes. You’ll hear their notes that are not perfectly in tune. If MIles Davis can make one of the greatest albums of all time in five days, why is what you’re doing so hard? Or another question, how long would it take you to type 150 page book? Or if you know how to type, you could probably type it in four days. So why does it take a year? It’s not the typing, it’s the getting out of your way. Miles got out of his way that you can write a book. I wrote The Dip in two weeks. You didn’t write a book if you get out of your way. So the work here is not that you have to get network standards and practices in the ANR people to say yes, we will put you in the store and you don’t need to get tower records to give you shelf space because they’re all gone. You do anything you want. So the work is to find the people you seek to serve. Bring them the true honest version of the change you seek to make and then let it happen. Don’t obsess about the one-star reviews. Learn what you need to learn from good advice and do it again.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:58:31] I’ve heard you say things that indicate that you’re not a fan of hustling, so to speak. I hate that word even because I think that the whole Internet is full of hustle porn as I call it. Yep. There are whole bodies of work that are just to motivate people to, I even know stand on a beach and do this or something. Can you elaborate on why?
Seth Godin: [00:58:52] Hustle is selfish. It’s selfish. Hustle says how do I create enough reciprocity debt plus clothes talking plus promises that are hard to keep so that someone will let me go forward rather than doing the difficult work of saying no. that’s a hustle. o you can get hustled by a life insurance salesperson. You get hustled with the car dealership, you can get hustled and at the bus station in New York City that it’s not bullying, but it’s in the same category that you know, one of the hustle things that went around a couple of years ago is one way to hustle somebody is engage with them a little bit and then ask for a favor. So email, Hey Seth, what’s your favorite color? Oh, really my favorite color is yellow. We will be blurred my book.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:59:41] I that it drives me. Absolutely. The worst is Jordan. I’m a huge fan of your work. This thing really changed my life and I’m like, ”Oh, I’m having a good read here. This is a really, would you? And then I go, Oh, so this was geared as buttering me up. Now I feel
Seth Godin: [00:59:55] Create an environment where I will feel worse by saying, no, that’s hustling cause it’s nothing generous. It’s nothing that you would do if you weren’t going to get something in return. It’s something risky on your part. Like sometimes people will say, “I’m taking a big risk here. I’m asking you for so-and-so.” What exactly are your risks? There is no risk. What you’re doing is trading favors and working your way up, ladder up the ladder so that in a hurry you can hustle your way up and it is a never been easier and more socially acceptable to hustle and my point is hustle is different than what that other word hustle means, which is the hockey player who always skates a little bit harder, but hockey player who always practices a little bit longer, we also call that hustle. That also is fine because you’re doing it in service of supporting your team, not because you’re trying to trick your way forward. And I think that when we ask most people, would you like to be hustled? They would say no. And if that’s really the case then I’m going to propose to people that they have a better way forward than hustling people.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:02] Do you advocate often for taking this, this longterm approach versus the short term approach? And that’s a, for a lot of people I think they really love this when it comes to investing money or investing in yourself or a business. Generally, it’s a good idea. It’s more scarce these days, which I think is an opportunity, but I wonder how you or we would go about persuading people to take the longterm journey instead of just what’s going to work short term. Speaking of hustling, right?
Seth Godin: [01:01:27] Yeah. I guess I still come back to, well, what is it that you’re hoping for
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:33] ideally a fulfilling career, right?
Seth Godin: [01:01:35] If you’re trying to get to Cleveland, don’t head South. It’s not going to head you in that direction. I’ve spent some time recently talking to 18-, 19-year-olds who are trying to move their way up and they’re surrounded by images that say million dollars by 22
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:56] The hustle porn.
Seth Godin: [01:01:57] And it’s like, okay, those people show me what happened to them when they turn 30 where are they now? Because if the trajectory was a straight line, they’d be Warren Buffet by the time they’re 30. They’re not what happened between 22 and 30 and what you see is these people are signed up for an endless cycle of boom and bust and they have to constantly engage with new people because they’ve burned all the old ones. If that’s what you want, go model them, leave me alone. But if you want the other path, start living the other path. Take a look at how long it took for someone to do it and do it and do it and the stories never end. I want to be Amanda Palmer. Well, Amanda wrote down exactly how to be Amanda Palmer. It does not involve, one day Oprah called me and then I was Amanda Palmer. That’s never the story.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:02:49] Waiting for that phone call from Oprah. Put Seth in the meantime. I know we’d said 55 we are at 55 and five seconds.
Seth Godin: [01:02:55] Amazing.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:56] Thank you very much.
Seth Godin: [01:02:57] Thank you. It’s been fun.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:03:00] Great big. Thank you to Seth Godin and we’re going to link to a bunch of his books here in the show notes and we’re teaching you how to connect with great people like Seth. Reach out to people that you admire, keep relationships going with people that you’ve known for years and reignite those old relationships that you’ve let lapse. It’s a free course on how to do this over at jordanharbinger.com/course. I literally have nothing to sell you. I kind of wished that I did, but in the meantime, this is all free. I don’t plan on making it, not free, but no promises there. I would love to hear what you think about this. A lot of people don’t dig the well before they get thirsty and I find out the hard way when they need relationships. So ignore this at your own peril, jordanharbinger.com/courses is where you can find that. And most of the guests here on the show, they subscribe to the course and the newsletter, so come join us. It’s a bunch of successful people. It’s not a, it’s not sort of one of those bottom rung scraped the bottom of the barrel type of things. These are skills that successful people use, not just introverts, not just people who don’t know how to send an email. I’d love to hear what you think about it because you all are pretty damn Smart from my experience. Speaking to building relationships, tell me your number one takeaway here from Seth Godin. I’m at @JordanHarbinger on both and Instagram and there’s a video of this interview on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/YouTube. Speaking of feedback, of course, I do read everything, especially reviews on Apple Podcasts. Even if you don’t use the app, I’d love to see a review from you. It’s a great way to let other people know how to find this show and if you need instructions on how to do that because Apple surely doesn’t make it easy. Go to jordanharbinger.com/subscribe and we’ll show you how.
[01:04:33] This show is produced in association with PodcastOne and this episode was co-produced by Jason DeFillippo and Jen Harbinger, show notes and worksheets by Robert Fogarty, music by Evan Viola, and I’m your host Jordan Harbinger. Our advice and opinions and those of our guests are their own. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. And remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for this show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful, which should be in every episode, so please share the show with those you love and even those you don’t. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we’ll see you next time.
[01:05:10] A lot of people ask me which podcast I listened to and recommend. I’ve been friends with Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income for years now and Pat, thanks for joining us. You had a really interesting episode recently about why people really hate us online. And, of course, you hear all these cliches like, “Oh, you’re not, if you’re not getting haters, you’re not doing it right.” And it’s like, okay, maybe that’s the reason. Also, there are other reasons, like some people are just horrible, but what, what’s some, what are some of the conclusions you came up with in Episode 372.
Pat Flynn: [01:05:40] Yeah. This has actually become one of my most popular episodes recently. And it stems from, and the reason I created this is because my son who’s nine, started a YouTube channel and you’ve got a really hateful comment from some random person on his video. And the comment was.-this is two and nine-year-old kid by the way it was kill yourself.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:05:56] That’s so horrible.
Pat Flynn: [01:05:59] And thankfully my wife and I, we had sort of taught her son to look out for this and to understand why people are like that. And what we taught him and what we try to teach people in this episode is that hurt people, hurt people. People do this and it’s not usually a reflection on you. It’s usually a reflection on something that’s happening in their life. And I go into a lot of examples beyond the one with my son, but my own personal examples, being an online entrepreneur and having a following online, I’m very similar situations. And thankfully my son was big enough to go, “I hope this person is okay.” Instead of going, “Oh my gosh, like my content is crap or I should stop doing this,” or you know the worst thing possible obviously. And we’re thankful that we’re able to teach him at a young age that we just wanted to in this episode, talk about hate online in a very honest way and, and hopefully have you realize that, hurt people, they hurt people and it’s not about you, it’s about them.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:06:48] That was an interesting point that I had to figure out on my own. I mean, doing a podcast, being online at all for 13 years. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen not online at all, but if you can even call it the limelight of influencer or whatever the hell you want to call it, I’ve found that over the last 13 years, it’s gotten much worse. It used to be there was the occasional crazy person, but they were actually so obviously mentally unstable and there were some jerks online. But now it almost seems like there’s a huge number of people that are really, really negative. And it sort of speaks to more people being online in general. But it also seems like more people being online to vent about their life or something. I don’t know I’m interested to hear what you think about that. So I’ll check out 372 of Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn.
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HDTGM: A Conversation With Brett Leonard, Director Of ‘The Lawnmower Man’
In 2014, acquired Oculus—a scrappy start-up dedicated to resurrecting virtual reality—for 2 billion. Since then, every major player in the tech space (from Google and Microsoft to Sony and Samsung) has begun to prepare for a very virtual future.
With this incredible technology now on its way, I’ve spent the past couple of years working on a new book about the unlikely heroes of this virtual reality revolution. During that time, I’ve had hundreds of conversations with those in the burgeoning VR industry and, at some point, almost inevitably, The Lawnmower Man—the 1992 sci-film film directed by Brett Leonard—eventually comes up.
How Did This Get Made is a companion to the podcast How Did This Get Made with Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas and June Diane Raphael which focuses on movies This regular feature is written by Blake J. Harris, who you might know as the writer of the book Console Wars, soon to be a motion picture produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. You can listen to The Lawnmower Man edition of the HDTGM podcast here. Synopsis: By utilizing the power of virtual reality, an eccentric scientist is able to transform a simple-minded gardener into a savant with telekinetic powers. But, as his intelligence grows, so does his thirst for revenge.Tagline: God made him simple. Science made him a god.
Some cite the film as an inspiration—an eye-opening experience that led them towards the career they have today—while others merely mention it as a frame of reference. Either way, it’s pretty remarkable that, nearly 25 years later, a film would have that kind of influence. Remarkable. but not all that surprising. Because, as we’ve all come to learn, there are few things more powerful than story. This is a conversation about how that story came to be; and how, in shaping that story, director Brett Leonard came to believe that virtual reality is going to be is the most transformative medium in the history of mankind.
Part 1: This Crazy Thing
Blake J. Harris: Most people know that you made the first mainstream movie about virtual reality. But not everyone realizes that, recently, you started a company to create VR content and, over the past 25 years, much of your career has been focused on the convergence between film and technology. So I was wondering: where did that start? Was it the tech that got you into film? Or did film take you into tech?Brett Leonard: It definitely started with movies. From the very first moment I saw one, which I think was when I was 2, at the drive-in with my parents.Blake J. Harris: Very early!Brett Leonard: Yeah. I was a kid from Toledo, Ohio and my mom was a fan of movies. She was kind of a frustrated actress, because she grew up in Toledo and never really got the chance to do it professionally. And so, from a very young age, she instilled that in me. And I just got a deep love of movies. Like it’s the only thing I ever remember wanting to do as a child. So I left Toledo right after I got out of high school and headed to California to make my way in the movie business.Blake J. Harris: What did that entail? What was the route you took?Brett Leonard: Well, I had no money, no connections, no family, so I did it the hard way, I worked my way up. I started working as a grip. And I worked my way from working as a grip to directing by writing screenplays and then doing second unit camera work, second unit direction on low-budget films that would come up to Northern California where I was living in a place called Santa Cruz. And because I was in Santa Cruz I also was very in touch with the digital revolution, because that was sort of right next to Silicon Valley, so I fell in with people like Jobs and Wozniak and a guy named Jaron Lanier who was doing this thing called virtual reality.Blake J. Harris: What was it about VR in particular of all the technologies that you were seeing that really fascinated you?Brett Leonard: First of all, you have to understand the entire era. It was 1980, a very exciting era in the computer revolution. And it was all happening right there [laughs] and, by serendipity, people would come and smoke weed too so we all smoked weed together; these people who were all the digitary of the era. I mean, like everybody. All the Pixar guys. Everybody. It was this crazy thing.Blake J. Harris: That’s awesome.Brett Leonard: So we started talking about these things back then, at these crazy parties in Santa Cruz. That had all these wild people. You know, Captain Crunch, the great hacker, was part of it. And I was this young kid, filmmaker, who had done nothing yet, but was part of that group. I just fell into it and it was fascinating to me because I was always fascinated by science fiction. A bit of a technologist. And I wanted to combine those things in the films that I do vis-à-vis my main influence, which is Stanley Kubrick. I’m definitely a Kubrickian, and his merging of science and veracity. I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey when I was 7 years old and that’s what really nailed me wanting to make movies. So in a weird way, I believe Kubrick is actually a pre-cursor to VR storytelling.Blake J. Harris: And how did what you saw—the stuff that Jaron and some others were working on—lead you to making The Lawnmower Man?Brett Leonard: So Jaron coined the term [virtual reality] and I popularized it with my movie. Before The Lawnmower Man, I actually made a film called The Dead Pit, was my first feature film. It was a zombie as many people start with zombie movies. [laughs] God love it, it’s a great genre! And we shot that in an abandoned insane asylum in Northern California. And that got me the attention of the producers who wanted to do The Lawnmower Man.Blake J. Harris: Which producers? And what was the initial vision, if you recall?Brett Leonard: So my manager, Steve Freedman, showed The Dead Pit to a producing pair named Bob Pringle and Steve Lane. Bob and Steve saw the film and they were involved with an executive producer named Edward Simons who, with his partner Harvey Goldstein, had the rights to this 7-page short story by Stephen King called The Lawnmower Man. It was a 7-page story about a guy telekinetically controlling a lawnmower. So I kind of brought this VR thing because I was hanging out with these people who were doing those kinds of things. I thought: man, this’ll be a great concept for a movie and we can show where the technology is going.Blake J. Harris: So I’m assuming the original vision, for the film, was pretty similar to what’s described in that 7-page story?Brett Leonard: Yeah. They had an initial concept that was a kind of local gardener, who was evil, who was using a mulching machine to chop up women and make them into fertilizer. I basically said: ehhhhh, I don’t want to make that movie, but I got this other thing. And they’re like: what the f? I mean, literally. Virtual what? So I made a 20-minute educational video about virtual reality video using Sutherland footage and it’s me, like against green screen, talking about virtual reality. Like I’m talking about to kindergarten children—aka producers—and that got them excited.Blake J. Harris: Did they buy in at that point? Did that have any lingering concerns?Brett Leonard: Well, they asked me, how are you gonna do the effects? How are you gonna do that? I said, Don’t worry, I’ve got that all figured out. [laughs] Of course I didn’t. I didn’t have any idea about that at all.
Part 2: The Greatest Lie in Hollywood
Blake J. Harris: So how did you deal with the special effects? There’s a lot in the movie and this is the early 90s; computer-generated graphics are not very common.Brett Leonard: Right. It was at a time when computer graphics effects were not commoditized, there was ILM and nothing else. And we definitely couldn’t afford ILM. Lawnmower Man started out as a very low-budget movie. 2 million, and I pumped it up to 5 million. But that still made it very tough. Luckily we were able to find these two very amazing talented groups: one called Angel Studios and the other was Chaos Images, which became a software company; they then productized the software they used to make The Lawnmower Man. Because of those two companies and the great team we had put together, and everyone thought the film was a 30 million movie.Blake J. Harris: Yeah, I’m surprised myself. I figured the budget was much higher than 5 million.Brett Leonard: And it made, in all markets, 250 million (that’s including foreign markets, ancillary and everything). This was the number one independent film of 1992. The number one New Line film of that year. People call it a cult film. It’s a cult film in its concept, but it was very much a mainstream independent film from a financial standpoint. And that very much launched my career into the next tier in a big way.Blake J. Harris: What was next for you? Virtuosity?Brett Leonard: I did one film in between Lawnmower Man and Virtuosity, which is Hideaway with Jeff Goldblum, Christine Lahti, Alicia Silverstone and Jeremy Sisto. It’s one of my littler known films, it’s a supernatural thriller, but I’m very proud of it. And then out of those films, Paramount approached me.Blake J. Harris: In what capacity?Brett Leonard: Sherry Lansing and two producers, Gary Lucchesi and Howard Hawks Jr., they asked me to direct Virtuosity, which was in script development form at the time. And then I came on board and was very much a part of developing the script with the studio. [laughs] At one point, this is little known stuff, that I don’t think I’ve talked about much: Michael Douglas was attached to the film.Blake J. Harris: Really? In the Russell Crowe role?Brett Leonard: No, no, no. In the Denzel Washington role. He was the first because Sherry had a real relationship with him and I met with him and we got along. He saw my movie and he was a fan. Then he had a knee injury and called me up and said, Look, I can’t run around. And this is a movie where I gotta run all the whole time; your movie is a big running movie. So I’m gonna go do The American President instead. And he did. And I’m glad he did, because I love that movie.Blake J. Harris: Yeah.Brett Leonard: And then Sherry turned to me and said, Go get me Denzel. [laughs] And I literally had to hypnotize Denzel to get him in this movie. I met him on the set of Crimson Tide, he was shooting at the time with Tony Scott. We’re there on this slanted bridge and I’m describing virtual reality. And no one knew what the f this thing was at that time, right? He’s like, I have no idea what you’re talking about, but I think my son would love it. So let me think about this. And because of his son wanting him to do science fiction, and being into these kind of concepts, he said yes. That was a big moment. He had not done any science fiction at that time. He hadn’t done anything like that. And it was rare for an actor like him to do that because there was a different audience for science fiction. There’s a prejudice and stigma to doing those types of films. But Denzel didn’t care and he’s just an amazing actor; it was an absolute honor to work with him. And then when it came time to find the villain, I had this one wild meeting with Robert Downey Jr. He was not in the best shape at that time.Blake J. Harris: Ha, sure.Brett Leonard: It was prior to his Tony Stark days. But I loved him. He’s amazing. But it was just too wild, too wild [laughs].Blake J. Harris: So how’d you end up with RC?Brett Leonard: My manager Steve Freedman and I had found this tape of this movie called Romper Stomper, which was a New Zealand independent movie that very few people saw here in the states. And it was Russell Crowe playing the character of Hando, this white supremacist gang leader. And this guy is heinous. I mean, he rapes his girlfriend, assaults Vietnamese immigrants. but you love him. Who the f is this guy? And I wanted a villain who was so charismatic you couldn’t help but fall in love with him. And here was this guy that was evil as hell. So I went to Deborah Aquila, who was the head of casting for Paramount at the time. One of the top casting directors in the business for many, many years and she agreed with me that he was amazing. So we went to Sherry together and we got them to let us do a screen test (which I had to pay for).Blake J. Harris: Speaking of which, did you have to pay for that 20-minute Lawnmower Man educational film?Brett Leonard: Oh yeah, oh yeah.Blake J. Harris: Good for you.Brett Leonard: You need to do whatever it takes to make your case. Anyway, so we had the screen test. I flew Russell over on my own dime. We had the screen test and Denzel was very impressed as well. Denzel approved him and so did Sherry and I got Russell Crowe to play the villain.Blake J. Harris: That launched a pretty good career for Mr. Crowe. Brett Leonard: Yeah, well, there’s this famous marketing meeting where we screened the film. The screening went very well, but the head of marketing stood up and said, Well, great, we’ve got a fing Russell Crowe film. Because he was an unknown. They didn’t know how to market it because he was so strong in the movie.Blake J. Harris: Ha!Brett Leonard: You know, he was an equal presence with Denzel. Blake J. Harris: Since these two movies were, really, the first time that many of us were hearing about and seeing the potential of virtual reality, how conscious were you about the type of message you wanted to send for this technology? Was that something you thought about a lot, or was it more just about telling a compelling story?Brett Leonard: You know, I thought at the time that true virtual reality—as it said at the beginning of The Lawnmower Man—would arrive at the turn of the millennium. Well it did come after the turn of the millennium, but quite a few years after. 10-15 years later than what I originally thought. But to answer your question about the technology: it was a contradiction for me. I was incredibly excited and stimulated by the discovering virtual reality and the potential of it. And simultaneously realized holy shit: this is going to be very powerful! And could be the ultimate Orwellian nightmare. So the stakes are high with something like this.Blake J. Harris: Right.Brett Leonard: With cinema, one of the great lies dating back to its origin was It’s just entertainment! It doesn’t make any impact Like the great Samuel Goldwyn said, If you’ve got a message, send a telegram.Blake J. Harris: Ha.Brett Leonard: So there’s a great lie here in Hollywood that cinema—what we do—it doesn’t count. It is important. It affects global culture. It creates global culture. My life has been completely affected by cinema. It’s an important medium and so is VR to a much greater degree. It literally changes our minds. And that’s something that’s both exhilarating, from the standpoint of how can we evolve ourselves and terrifying. Just like most of trans humanism is exhilarating and terrifying. So as a storyteller, it’s rich fodder for exploring those themes. So I was very cognizant of those themes. And my partner, Gimel Everett, who was my partner in life at the time, and also my screenwriting partner, we were very much focused on that. And Gimel was a very spiritual person. And really taught me a lot about that. So she was my guide in really bringing me to see the greater sort of spiritual implications of this medium.Blake J. Harris: You mentioned, just a little bit earlier, that you envisioned that virtual reality would really take hold around the turn of the millennium. That didn’t happen. And not only that, many of the companies that were formed in the 90s—those looking to usher in the virtual era—they failed. The revolution didn’t happen, at least not then. Did you ever suspect that it wouldn’t happen at all?Brett Leonard: Well, it’s a continuum. Like if you look at the automobile business, it took decades for it to really ratchet up. It’s just a continuum. We see it from a very myopic standpoint because we’re so close to it right now. But, you know, all of the things that have been worked on from that time in the 90s until now really have affected where we are now and are responsible for making this happen. That’s why I think it’s really important to have inter-generational relationships right; some level of communication between us silver-backed gorillas, who have been looking at and working on these problems for years, and the next generation of problem-solvers. And it’s happening. So it’s a very exciting time because of it. And a lot of the young people I’m working with, it’s very exciting. Their enthusiasm, the revolutionary nature of what they’re doing, what they’re being driven by. Blake J. Harris: Yeah, it’s an incredibly exciting time. Every day I’m interviewing people for the book, and every day and surprised and amazed by what’s going on.Brett Leonard: And it’s great fun because we’re making it up as we go along. We’re bringing very unique people to the table to talk to each other. For what I call, facetiously, an unholy alliance. Basically what that is referencing is you need to bring people together who wouldn’t usually talk to each other. And really get them to find a common language to create this new medium. And what I believe it’s going to be is the most transformative medium in the history of mankind. And it also has the potential to be something far more negative, something darker. And that’s why I’m going to continue to tell cautionary tales. I mean the irony of my life is that I’m primarily a cautionary-tale teller, but you popularized the very thing you’re cautioning.Blake J. Harris: [laughs] Well let’s finish by talking about that: your company, what’s coming down the pipe and, of course, the art of telling stories in virtual reality.
Part 3: Storytellers and the Art of Story-Worlding
Blake J. Harris: Let’s start with your company: Virtuosity. Brett Leonard: Yeah. So it’s a company I started with Scott Ross, who ran ILM and Lucasfilm for George Lucas, and with David Goldman, who was an uber-agent—Will Smith’s agent, Mick Jagger’s agent—and also ran William Morris for many years. So we’re out there, they’re calling us the adults in the room.Blake J. Harris: Ha!Brett Leonard: I mean, look, there’s a ton of young companies and they’re fantastic in the innovative spirit. But delivering this motherfer is going to be really tough.Blake J. Harris: Absolutely. And you said that you thought VR is going to be the most transformative medium in the history of mankind. How so?Brett Leonard: Well, it’s a truly immersive medium and the level of graphics, already quite strong, will only continue to get better and better. You really feel like you are someplace else. and what you see, what you experience, it impacts your brain. So there are major implications here, to societal structure, to democracy to the way in which we interact with each other. To the nature of love, to the nature of sexuality.Blake J. Harris: Right. If you think about something like The Matrix, then anything truly becomes possible.Brett Leonard: Yeah, so in some ways I feel. not that I created the thing, but I was a storyteller. In some ways, I was the jester, the harlequin who took it out there, I feel a bit of a karmic responsibly to help guide it in the right direction. Because I feel that connection to it. And I have a 21 year old son and he’s going to be living in that world that VR will create. That’s why my number one rule of VR is: take it seriously, the stakes are high. Do not underestimate the virtual world’s ability to influence the actual world.Blake J. Harris: You’re right. There is a lot at stake. And also lots of incredible tools at your disposal. How does that impact you as a storyteller? Or perhaps an easier place to begin: How does telling a story in VR compare to telling a story on film?Brett Leonard: This is much harder than doing any of those things we’ve already done. Primarily because this is a multi-disciplinary medium. We have neurologists and behavioral psychologists and people like that on our team because you’re creating reality. That’s an example of the multi-disciplinary approach we need to take in order to skin the cat. Because this thing is inherently the anti-thesis, in some ways, of what cinema is. And yet, the paradox is that it utilizes certain aspects of cinematic craft. And in my mind, cinematic theory such as the theory of off-screen space. Which is what you don’t show in a cinematic that leads to comprehension and understanding by the audience. And how that’s more important than what you do show; because film is a shorthand medium. This is a true long-form medium, much more akin to exploring a novel or exploring architecture. So I’m utilizing cinematic aspects, theories, and craft in the creation of a story world. I’m becoming a story-worlder in the space of actual virtual reality. The thing that’s the same, I believe, as what happened back then—this is a critical phase, billions of dollars are going into this now, the tech is being supported by every major consumer electronics company—but now the content and what it really is has to, in a sense, inform people of what the medium is. Similar to what I did in my movies. Blake J. Harris: And how would you describe what it is you are trying to accomplish?Brett Leonard: My FOCUS is to push the medium to be what it truly can be. Something well beyond 360-video, which is where a lot of the initial money has gone. but, of course, it’s not real VR if you don’t have agency. So what I’ve been looking for for 25 years is that undiscovered country between gameplay and linear narrative and the emotional engagement of a cinematic narrative. And that takes a huge combination of interesting technological enablements, as well as an understanding of how to bring a multidisciplinary team on a process that is upside-down the traditional process.Blake J. Harris: You’re talking about the storytelling form of VR being more similar to a novel than a traditional film. Where do you see videogames fitting into this? Especially open-world games?Brett Leonard: Videogame designers inherently understand VR a little better than those coming from cinema. At the same time, there’s something that next-generation VR is going to need to bring into it: which is true, emotional engagement. The kind of emotional engagement you get in a narrative cinematic experiences; that’s part of what I mean by bringing these unholy alliances together. And there’s also other things happening, much of the content is being designed with game engines. By game engines, Leonard is referring to ones like those made by Unity, which enables developers—particularly indie developers, who don’t have the resources of a big studio—to create (or buy) 3D assets and build immersive virtual worlds.Brett Leonard: I liken it to the time in cinema before the feature film. There were one-reelers and two-reelers, these 10-20 minute experiences, and the movie business was kind of a nickel and dime business. And then D.W. Griffith came along and invented the feature film. And that changed everything. And of course, at the time, he was ridiculed for presuming people would want to spend more than 10-20 minutes watching a film. It’s all the same shit you’re hearing about VR right now. The same thing. And then that crated the form, the product, that formed the entire Hollywood model. And that’s the moment we’re about to be in.Blake J. Harris: One last question for you: as someone who had an eye on VR when most of the world had either forgotten or given-up, I’m curious what’s been the most surprising thing to you about how these last few years have played out.Brett Leonard: So things really began to change in 2014, that’s when Palmer Luckey and Oculus were able to get Mark Zuckerberg excited about VR to the tune of 2 billion! And that made everything fing go into Hyper speed. It really launched this new moment. In terms of what surprised me most. I was surprised by the amount of money that was being thrown at 360-video.Blake J. Harris: By which you mean immersive, cinematic worlds, but in which you have no agency to move around and interact, right?Brett Leonard: Yeah. I think 360-video is valid and can be entertaining, but it’s not true VR. It might be a step to true VR. But you’re gonna see some of those companies hitting the wall because the business model doesn’t make sense for 360-video. And that could hurt the medium a little bit. So I’m surprised at that aspect. I’m also surprised that so much money has gone into the tech as opposed to the content. Because the razors are one thing, but the razor blades are where you make the money and what is really important. But that’s starting to pivot. So I think 2017 is going to be the year of next-gen VR content creation. And the other surprising thing is China. China: oh my god! They’ve taken to it like it never didn’t exist. It’s just wild. And that is going to be a very interesting market to deal with and be a part of. Someone in the industry recently said to me, if you don’t have a China strategy, you don’t have a VR strategy.
The Four Horsemen of Procrastination (and how to defeat them)
This article was originally about writer’s block — a particular kind of procrastination — but as some readers have pointed out, it applies to anything you’ve been avoiding. Writing is my example here; you know better what it is you’re avoiding right now.
Getting myself writing used to feel something like trying to start an old lawn mower. Occasionally I’d get it running right away, but most of the time it would take at least a few rips at the cord, and I was always aware that I might not get it to turn over at all that day.
This made it feel like there were days I could write and couldn’t write, and I could never do much more than hope it was the right kind of day. Some time in the last year I lost most of my fear of writing, or at least by now I’ve experienced enough of that fear that I can see it has a rather simple and predictable structure.
I’m not saying I’ve defeated it, only that I understand it enough that I can always get myself to the point where I actually write something. I still encounter creative fear every day, but it arrives in only a few predictable forms and I know what to do for each one.
There are four forms, and almost every day they ride out to confront me in the same order. I call them the Four Horsemen of Writer’s Block, but they are undoubtedly the same evil forces that stifle creators of all types.
Initially they come in disguise, seducing travelers away from the creative path. Often they defeat you without your even knowing it. Once you know their names and their strategies, you begin to see your encounters with them as an everyday part of your job that need cause you little trouble. But be careful. Even if you’ve defeated them a hundred times they will still be capable of tricking you — in fact, my overconfidence allowed the first one to outsmart me yesterday on the piece you’re reading.
Know which you’re dealing with and what to do for each.
The first horseman is responsible for the greatest number of casualties. Usually he alone is enough to defeat a given person. His persistence is the primary reason there are people who believe they have no creative ability at all. He keeps the majority of the population from ever even beginning to do their best work.
His name is Tomorrow and his first arrow is so sudden and penetrating that it can slay your creative spirit for the day before you even notice his arrival. Every subsequent day he attacks from farther away, until each assault can kill weeks, months and years of your creative life.
Across his breastplate his mantra is etched: “Now is not the time.”
His strategy: He wants today to look spoiled to you, so that tomorrow, next week, or next year seems like a vastly better time to get to work. When you notice it’s 11:17 and you’ve got nothing down, you begin to think that today’s energies might be better invested in laundry or errand-running. This is his deathblow, and it is so insidious it feels good.
His weakness: Tomorrow needs you to regard future days as your most fertile creative periods, making today look comparatively unsuitable for working. When you recognize that it is actually impossible to do work tomorrow, then you know to stay with your work until something starts to take form. Today is the only day you can ever work, and once you see this truth, he is defeated.
The second horseman arrives in the quiet hours of the morning, when you still feel the abundance of a whole day ahead of you. He’s most effective when Tomorrow defeated you yesterday and you’re determined to work today, but still rattled. The prospect of creating is slightly scarier to you today than it was yesterday and it is this scent of blood that attracts your next enemy.
Later is well-dressed and generous, and the inexperienced traveler is drawn to him. He flatters you for your commitment and industriousness, and extols the principles of emotional preparation and the rejuvenating effect of play. The moment he senses your anxiousness about getting to work, he reassures you of the abundance of time. After lunch, after dinner, after the next episode of Orange is the New Black, there is a clear stretch of time to work, and you’ll be more energized and balanced then. Sometimes he will offer you cannabis.
Electric Lawn Mowers WITH SOLAR PANELS!
His strategy: Later offers you gifts but they must be accepted immediately. He sells you on what appears to be perfect compromise — do whatever you like now, as long as you get to work right after after lunch, or right after dinner. It’s a nearly irresistible deal: at the time you accept the gift you believe are losing nothing, because you’ll simply do the same amount of work later in the day, and you get to enjoy a lovely treat right now.
His weakness: He can defeat you only if you never learn that work only gets harder throughout the day. Accepting his morning gifts weakens you in several ways simultaneously. Firstly, you’re using the day’s freshest hours to do its least demanding activities; secondly, you’re training yourself to expect the easy and fun part of the day to come before you begin working; and thirdly, some part of you knows that you have already sold out on your high expectations for the day, and the day becomes tinged with shame. Tomorrow will be upon you in an instant. If you do begin to work later, you’ll expect less of yourself and you’ll quit early. If you follow a policy of never accepting gifts of gratification before you’ve done enough work to be proud that day, he cannot win.
The third horseman waits until you’re at your desk, having thwarted the first two opponents. Rather than sneak up to you, he rides in to the sound of trumpets and pyrotechnics. He wears a great blue cape with a white lower case “f” on it. On his tunic are embroidered his emblems of power: a coffeemaker, a sudoku grid, a banana nut muffin and a Reddit alien.
Though Distraction has been antagonizing writers and artists for centuries, his power has grown a hundredfold in the past few decades. In fact, he is threatening to dominate an entire generation of youth, who worship him by absently fondling a black or silver rectangle they carry in their s.
Those who write for the web are particularly vulnerable to his power, because he lurks in the very tools the writer uses.
His strategy: He wants to reduce your output by diluting your writing time with social media time, second breakfasts and daydreaming, so that you start to believe you need enormous blocks of time to produce anything. When you begin to despair at your inability to get anywhere, you will stop working for the day, leaving you ripe for all four horsemen to descend upon you when they please.
His weakness: Distraction works by enchantment. He doesn’t want you know you’re distracted until you’re too hooked on the distraction to quit immediately when you do realize. You have to learn what the in-the-moment sensation of becoming distracted feels like, and when you notice it, return your attention immediately to what you were doing, without “resolving” the distraction. It is easier to learn to do this in small stretches. Set a timer and declare the next thirty minutes distraction free. Snap back to the task at hand the moment you notice you’re not doing it anymore. This is a muscle you have to work.
The final enemy often waits until you’ve actually begun to get somewhere. You may even be almost done a day’s work by the time you notice his long shadow creeping across your workspace.
Self-doubt stalks every creative and will appear at some point during every project. His figure is indistinguishable from Death — dressed in black with a bare skull for a face. Sometimes you just spot his silhouette on a distant hilltop, and then he will disappear, allowing you to finish. But you know you saw him and you are left unsettled about your work. Other times he may ride right up to you, unfurling a great black banner that says, “Everything you write is shit.”
Unlike his predecessors, who are satisfied with merely ruining your day, his aim is to get you to stop forever.
His strategy: To get you to give up on your projects out of the belief that you’re missing a crucial ingredient, typically talent or inspiration. Creatives who believe they’re missing something must either wait for it to come to them, or quit the pursuit altogether.
His weakness: Primarily, he needs you to believe that bad work is avoidable and that it threatens your good work. Self-doubt has trouble gaining traction with the writer who is unfazed by producing something he knows is bad. If you embrace your shitty work as a necessary component of getting to your good work, he begins to doubt his own effectiveness. Joel Saltzman’s analogy of writing as panning for gold is helpful — the gold is only ever found amongst many times as much sand. If you see the sand as being in the way of your gold production, you stop producing. Good writing needs bad writing, and the less resistance you have to one, the more easily the other comes.
Self-doubt is the most complex of the enemies to creativity, and it can come from a lot of different places. But having a name for the stifling force goes a long way towards continuing to work regardless of its presence.
Essentially, if you know which foe is stifling you at a given moment, it’s not difficult to defeat him. Expect them to come in this order, but be aware that they never really die. When you have trouble with one of them, often the others will reappear, even if you’ve already handled them that day.
I’m convinced now that these four enemies make up the entirety of everyday resistance to creative work, that they are predictable and that anyone can defeat any one of them on any given day. There’s really not much that can stop you if you decide you’ll keep working no matter who shows up.