the icarus deception – seth godin

icarus deception

You want a revolution. Read this. [book image links to amazon] Get people to read this.

Seth, our coach/mentor/friend/leader/fellow art-ist..  is calling us.. to wake up.


A friend tweeting a page of the book…

icarus deception words
One of many interviews of Seth on the book – this interview:

I think it’s a pretty big idea, which is that we all grew up during the Industrial Age. Everyone knows about the Industrial Revolution. It revolutionized the world, invented jobs, created productivity, made us all rich, and now it’s over. And there’s a Post-Industrial Age here now and growing every day. I’m calling it the connection economy. The connection economy is coming to us via the connection revolution.

The important thing to understand is this:

we have been brainwashed by eight generations of propaganda into believing things about the world that don’t have to be true.

When we start keeping score of things like permission and trust and reputation and connection, many of the things that used to be part of our life—like scarcity, jobs, a career—start to fade and get replaced by something else. That’s uncomfortable for a lot of people. What I wanted to do was, as vividly as I could, paint a picture of the chance of a lifetime, because it’s right here if we want to take advantage of it.

When we start keeping score of something different, suddenly the Internet economy makes a lot more sense.

The reason that it’s worth mentioning is because of the title blog post, “Watcha Gonna Do With that Duck?” It’s one of my favorites. The post is very short. Basically, it says that you probably know lots of people who spend their day getting all their ducks in a row, which is fine, but what I’m really interested in is what are you going to do with that duck? 

What still happens—and I guess I shouldn’t be surprised after 25 years of doing this—I still see the look in people’s eyes, because what they’re really hoping I will give them is a map. What they’re really hoping for are step-by-step instructions that include the word “easy” and “straightforward.” Here I am, showing up on a regular basis saying “fuzzy,” “difficult,” “hard work,” “simple but not easy.” That goes against everything your parents and your schools and your bosses taught you. So I’m not a particularly good marketer because I’m not selling people what they want. But I’m trying very hard to tell people what I think they need to hear.


godin art law

the most rational thing to do


Anne‘s got a video interview.


Some favorite quotes:

The most rational thing to do is the irrational work of art.

We’ve greatly exaggerated the risk of sinking, without celebrating the value of swimming.

It’s precisely the high-wire act of “this might not work” that makes original art worth doing.

The placebo effect has an impact on more than medicine—we see what we believe, not the other way around.

We are consumed with the humility of asking for directions, following the leader, and playing it safe. We have embraced the humility of not taking initiative and of designing a life where we can’t possibly be blamed.

The notion that an organization can teach anything at all is a relatively new one. Traditionally, society assumed that artists, singers, artisans, writers, scientists, and alchemists would find their calling, then find a mentor, and then learn their craft. It was absurd to think that you’d take people off the street, teach them to do science or to sing, and persist at that teaching long enough for them to get excited about it.

Now that we’ve built an industrial solution for teaching in bulk, we’ve seduced ourselves into believing that the only thing that can be taught is the way to get high SAT scores. We shouldn’t be buying this.

Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees.

The new safe place requires us to look others in the eye and see them, truly see them.

If the object of the game we are playing was merely to make the most stuff for the least money, there would be no issue with any of this. But the artist understands that there’s a different game being played, one that focuses on connection.

The industrial economy has demanded that we be true. It pushed our parents to ensure that we would be true, and their parents before them. The economy was hungry, hungry for the compliant worker, the one who would fit his round head into the round hole, his square hands into the square holes. And why not? To do otherwise is to mess up the machine. We must no longer care about messing up the machine.

Just because you’re winning a game doesn’t mean it’s a good game.

The Juilliard Dilemma

Change Your Mind –  Artists fail, and failing means that sometimes you need to change your mind about what you thought the best path might be. That’s one reason that failure is anathema—it means we have to change our minds. The real problem when working with a consultant, a therapist, or a coach isn’t that we don’t know what to do. The real problem is that we don’t want to change our mind. It’s a skill, an attribute of those who are successful and happy. If you need a pro to help you, that’s great, but be clear with yourself that the goal isn’t to find a better path; it’s to find the bravery to change your mind.

find the bravery to change your mind


and then..

oh my.


godin it might not work law

see more via ..
out on a limb

where you can also find the quote below that explains, grokkingly..

why we love the man..

It turns out that I don’t just write for you. I also write to remind myself of what I’m hoping to become as well. Hearing myself, months later, reading something I didn’t remember writing or reading, I shed a few tears. Yes, this is work worth doing. Yes, being out on a limb is exactly where I want to be.


He’s calling us to wake up.

Perhaps Icarus Deception.. will be just enough to nudge us. Let’s not wait.


The story of the Icarus Deception, via TED’s site, as they have it on their reading list:

Icarus is a mythological character with incredible staying power. Everyone knows his story — his dad made him wings to help him escape the minotaur’s labyrinth, and warned him not to fly too close to the sun lest his wings melt. Amazed to be flying, however, Icarus didn’t listen and tumbled into the ocean. It’s the classic tale of hubris.

In his new book, ..Seth Godin shares why he thinks this story is manipulative — because it’s all about obedience and reminding us of the dangers of getting too big for our britches. But Godin asks: why should our most valuable skill be our ability to follow orders? And why shouldn’t we fly really high? In The Icarus Deception, Godin calls for us to think and act boldly. He asks us to go about our work as if it were art — with the idea of “good enough” far from our minds.


seth on icarus – 4 min


we’re all still programmed to think.. how do i fit in more.. mostly triggered by fear

people who have the hubris to dream of something bigger change the status quo