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We Are All Weird: The Myth of Mass and The End of Compliance

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We Are All Weird is a celebration of choice, of treating different people differently and of embracing the notion that everyone deserves the dignity and respect that comes from being heard. The book calls for end of mass and for the beginning of offering people more choices, more interests and giving them more authority to operate in ways that reflect their own unique values.
For generations, marketers, industrialists and politicians have tried to force us into little boxes, complying with their idea of what we should buy, use or want. And in an industrial, mass-market driven world, this was efficient and it worked. But what we learned in this new era is that mass limits our choice because it succeeds on conformity.

As Godin has identified, a new era of weirdness is upon us. People with more choices, more interests and the power to do something about it are stepping forward and insisting that the world work in a different way. By enabling choice we allow people to survive and thrive.

Audio CD

First published January 1, 2011

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About the author

Seth Godin

194 books5,720 followers
Seth Godin is a bestselling author, entrepreneur and agent of change.

Godin is author of ten books that have been bestsellers around the world, and he is also a renowned speaker. He was recently chosen as one of 21 Speakers for the Next Century by Successful Meetings and is consistently rated among the very best speakers by the audiences he addresses.

Seth was founder and CEO of Yoyodyne, the industry's leading interactive direct marketing company, which Yahoo! acquired in late 1998.

He holds an MBA from Stanford, and was called "the Ultimate Entrepreneur for the Information Age" by Business Week.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 366 reviews
Profile Image for Laura.
48 reviews19 followers
August 10, 2021
O carte foarte buna care m-a facut sa inteleg de ce cumpar si apoi vreau sa cumpar si mai mult dupa ce ma afiliez unui grup de "ciudati". O recomand tuturor celor care se intreaba de ce achizitioneaza mult si uneori inutil. E greu sa te lupti cu marketingul care stie despre tine mult mai mult decat stii tu.
Profile Image for Nadin Adel.
733 reviews69 followers
April 4, 2017
The first read for Seth Godin. From the first glance, it was thoughtfully all about marketing. Simple, it's Seth Godin. However, a moment later, the manifesto grabs your attention to finish the whole book in no time. Here you start to eventually realize it wasn't just about marketing. It was a capsule of politics, educational thoughts, business, career, charity, management and last but not least marketing. Never thought he would be that genius. I can't wait to read more of his work especially that he is a contemporary writer and a marketing geek!

Lastly, here comes some of the quotes that I found really outstanding:

"My proposed solution for schools is simple: don’t waste a lot of time and money pushing kids in directions they don’t want to go. Instead, find out what weirdness they excel at and encourage them to do that. Then get out of the way."

"No, at this distance, we fill in the gaps with our prototype runner, a standard runner, the runner we always use when we imagine a runner. As we get closer, reality intrudes. This isn’t an archetype, it’s an actual person. Short, perhaps, or with just one leg, or limping or wearing street clothes. On close inspection, just about everybody is weird. And that’s the key: on close inspection."


P.S. After my quite experience in marketing, day after day, I manage to believe the fact of the urge need to use marketing in all aspects of life. For instance, to adapt it on education to enhance it for the students. And the list grows to forever, it just requires the guts to think out of the box in the busyness of practical life. But it is really worth it.
Profile Image for Brad.
Author 1 book7 followers
October 24, 2011
As awesome as I wanted this manifesto to be, it just doesn't get there. Weirdly enough, I'm a victim of the concept of this book: it's not for everyone, but will be perfect for some. Chris Anderson wrote "The Long Tail", this book tells you what to do about it. This is my first selection for the book club I'm starting at Cramer. It'll provide some interesting conversation I'm sure, but falls short of Tribes and Linchpin.

My reviews are usually brief, but there's a story that goes along with this book that I want to share here. SG had a teleconference about this book that I listened in on. In the first half, he went through the arc of the book, and in the second half fielded questions from listeners who theoretically had read it (I had not yet). There weren't many people asking questions, and I thought of this as an opportunity to ask on of my personal heros a question. So from what I learned at the top half of the hour, I hit *6 and asked Seth Godin the following: "What's your take on the American Education system in the context of all this? We talk about white collar factories, but high school is another kind of conveyor belt. If I was born 300 years earlier, and my father was a blacksmith, I would have become an expert blacksmith -- getting training from an early age and becoming great. Now all kids take the same curriculum, a very 'normal' education, and are expected to excel." Seth's answer was this (best I can remember): "Thanks for the question. The US education system isn't going anywhere because the country relies heavily on normal, mainstream people. So, as parents we have to capitalize on the hours between 3:00-10:00, and teach our kids about leadership and get them to solve interesting problems. Show them how to become outliers. We should tell our kids that school is important, but point out it's flaws too. Because the system isn't going to change anytime soon. You can change one kid much easier than the whole system." Well said, sir.

Profile Image for Caitlin.
Author 1 book35 followers
January 6, 2017
Very short and a bit superficial, this never got beyond what was stated in the title. And..."we are all weird except for the 'normal' people" was repeated a few times. So, we are not all weird? This was the first thing I've read by Godin and I have two more on my list that were recommended by a friend. I hope they delve a little deeper and don't read like a first-draft blog post written at two a.m.
Profile Image for Chris.
1,812 reviews72 followers
November 20, 2017
Seth Godin writes in sound bites. This is the second of his slim “manifestos” that I’ve read, and that seems to be his approach. It’s scatter shot, random, off-the-cuff. He talks around his points, never quite making a linear argument or delving deeply into anything, just skimming across the surface of his topics with many broad thoughts from a wide spectrum of influences. It almost feels like he’s doing pointillism artwork, hoping if he throws out enough thought splatters they will land just right to make a coherent whole. While I did in the other, I don’t feel he succeeds in this one. He brings up lots of thoughts, but instead of expanding them or working them over, he skips off to something else before the thought is ever complete. It’s superficial “google” writing instead of sustained thinking. I often had lots of interesting thoughts in response to what he said, wanted to engage his ideas, but then they’d flit away with his writing before any substance developed. It’s interesting, but I’m not sure it amounts to anything.

In the interest of hoping it does amount to something with more time to cogitate, I’ll attempt to process a few things. Godin writes:

This is a manifesto about the end of the mass market. About the end of mass politics, mass production, mass retailing, and even mass education. Although it’s a book on marketing and spends most of its time on business considerations, he says, My ulterior motive in bringing you this manifesto has little to do with helping you sell more stuff and more to do with allowing (all of us) to embrace the freedom we have. The freedom to choose. The freedom to choose to be weird.

That may be so, but it felt like a book on marketing to me. He spent a few pages near the end on education and on ethics, but it could have been so much more. There was the basis for looking at all kinds of things as they relate to the ideas of “normal” and “mass.” Things that matter. He didn’t really go there, as far as I’m concerned, when he should have. Because ultimately it’s a book about respecting individuals as individuals and finding ways to work that respect into our daily operating procedures.

As a librarian, my thoughts turned to the library. In times when budgets are tight, there is more push to market ourselves to the public and budget makers. So what does it mean for the library to market ourselves to the “weird” instead of the “mass?” Representing many diverse points of view is one of our key tenets, along with equal access of information for everyone, as part of our philosophy of the freedom of information. We like to say a good library collection has something to offend everyone. It seems to me we’re a natural fit for the “weird,” that we provide a place for people to explore their particular interests and passions.

Two quotes struck me: The challenge of your future is to do productive and useful work for and by and with the tribe that cares about you. To find and assemble the tribe, to earn their trust, to take them where they want and need to go.

And: The reason that people are walking away from mass is not so that they can buy more stuff. Material goods and commerce are not the goal, they are merely a consequence. The goal is connection.

Who is the library “tribe” and how do we help them achieve “connection?” It’s something to ponder.

-----

One other bit that I want to pull out to revisit later. I think it has a lot of potential ramifications that he left unexplored.

Rich is my word for someone who can afford to make choices, who has enough resources to do more than merely survive. You don’t need a private plane to be rich, but you do need enough time and food and health and access to be able to interact with the market for stuff and for ideas.

Particularly when coupled with: Researchers report that the ability to be weird, the freedom to make choices, and the ability to be heard are the factors most highly correlated with happiness around the world. Regardless of income or race or geography, when we let people choose among things that are important to them, they become happier. More varieties of jeans doesn’t necessarily make people happier, of course, but the opportunity to live where they want, say what they feel, express their desires, and choose a path certainly does.

-----

I’m tempted to give this three stars simply because it made me think a bit, but I think I’ll stick with two.
Profile Image for Turnip.
66 reviews1 follower
September 11, 2020
I like Seth Godin. He seems like a pretty good guy. He offers a lot of good advice and insights for free, and when you see them as they pop up in his blog, they’re not so bad. They’re varied, encapsulated thoughts that read well in a few minutes. He writes enough about the same ideas that he takes different passes at them and looks at them from different angles. It’s fine. But when you gather all of those views up in one book and try to pretend that it’s anything other than multiple angles of the same thought, it gets dull. And this is without the inherent problem with one guy talking about how important it is to cater to niche audiences and unique individuals, who then brings all of his examples back to him and his experience and what he thinks. So I’m not really sure whether this is a marketing book (which is obviously is), or a book about how it’s okay to be unusual or something and to expect the world to catch up. It was an okay read, but would I recommend it to anyone? I don’t think so. Can I think of any specific examples from it that I might pass on to other people? Not past the first 17 pages. If you like Seth Godin, this book is fine. But it won’t change your life.
155 reviews11 followers
February 6, 2013
How sweet of Seth Godin to write my biography. ^_~ I loved this book b/c it makes such a great case for the people who live and thrive outside of the norm, outside of the masses. My fav thing while reading this book was people's reactions to the title when I told them what I reading. I started to judge people based on that reaction and only want to associate with people who vibe with the title...
Profile Image for Cora.
365 reviews40 followers
November 3, 2013
I just skimmed through this one. I thought it was going to be funny but it's just a manifesto with some interesting points. I found myself talking to the book trying to explain why he's wrong on a few points, especially on education. Everyone has to do things they don't want to do, it's part of life. Get educated, get a job and you can then find time to pursue your weirdness.
Profile Image for Costin Cocioabă.
86 reviews25 followers
January 8, 2022
În urmă cu mai bine de 10 ani rămăsesem blocat în fața rafturilor cu hartie igienică din Kauflandul de pe Barbu Văcărescu. Mă intriga faptul că nu erau atâtea fructe diferite, la nici 20m distanță, pe câte sortimente de hartie igienică erau expuse pe fiecare parte a celor două rafturi lungi de peste 10m și care aveau de două ori înălțimea mea.

Un strat, două straturi, trei straturi. Diferite tipuri de culori, de la alb, la cele mai ciudate rozuri pe care doar o femeie le poate diferenția. Texturi diferite! Tex-turi! Cu pătrățele, cerculețe, ori diferite forme pentru a căror creație Amsterdam are pregătite diferite tipuri de trufe. Desene! Avem chiar și de Crăciun! Sau cu mirosuri, frățiwhere! Lavandă, căpșuni și câte și mai câte.

Scuzați-mi franceza, dar dacă ne dăm doi pași înapoi, vorbim despre un produs pe care-l folosim pentru a ne șterge la fund. Cât de absurdă poate fi abundența asta? Sunt genul de produse care pot veni cu un copy de genul “$h*t on me” fără să afecteze niciun atribut de brand pentru că… e adevărat. O știm cu toții, chiar dacă nu o verbalizăm.

Continuarea aici: https://costin.ro/ciudati-seth-godin/
Profile Image for Tatiana.
23 reviews6 followers
November 1, 2012
I had really mixed feelings about this book. I agreed with his general premise that weird is good, but I was a bit skeptical of the connection between being "weird" and the emphasis on consumption. To be fair, this book is about marketing and getting people to spend money and the potential benefit to marketing to groups on the fringes. For one, he's all about normalizing "weird". Cool but if that's what happens then "weird" loses its "weird" status and becomes mass...the very thing he criticizes and says is passé. The relationship to marketing and mass production and consumption as I see it and understand it is marketing professionals find a product that they think many people will like and purchase...sometimes they are a the forefront of this process..in that marketing campaigns convince people to buy..or they follow the process. (Borrowing from Malcolm Gladwell's "The tipping point" marketers discovering after the fact that Airwalk had become popular and might have mass appeal beyond the specialized "weird" group of people who might ordinarily buy the shoes.) The unspoken assumption though, is that consumption (at least enough to attract the attention of marketers) validates your "weird" interest which I found to be problematic.
Profile Image for Jacki.
155 reviews9 followers
January 8, 2012
Seth Godin makes the case for Weird in this brief manifesto. With Weird being defined as choosing something, whether it be movie genre's, hobbies, reading material, or food, outside the choices presented as "normal", We Are All Weird, discusses how this culture of Weird has come into existence and how it is growing.

Seth Godin books have always come highly recommended to me, so finding We Are All Weird in the Kindle Lending Library encouraged me to finally jump into Godin's world. I was highly disappointed.

Touted as a genius, Godin only seem to repeat the same sentence over and over again and nothing he stated seemed like anything new to me. Surrounded and immersed in Geek Culture, all Godin's points are nothing new, including the reasons he presents for why Weird is growing.

Perhaps this was not the best of Godin's work, but quite honestly, if felt like a waste of his time to write and a waste of my time to read.
Profile Image for Casey.
36 reviews
August 13, 2016
Not as good or inspiring as some of Godin's other books, but at least his books are short. Godin raises some good points here, I won't deny. In the past, marketers and producers made money by trying to sell to the center of the bell curve, and it worked. When there are only 3 TV networks, you might still make good programming, but it also doesn't really matter when you have a captive audience. These days, however, we have a cornucopia of choice, so rather than trying to market to as many people as possible, one should find their niche and embrace it.

Or at least that's what I got out of it. I rated this 3 stars because in his epilogue, Godin says, "[if you've] come to the conclusion that you need to spend more time going after niche markets, I fear we both have failed." Perhaps we did, as the rest of his epilogue really sounds like he thinks you should find and embrace your niche market. Meh.

I still enjoy his work and would gladly read another.
Profile Image for Meriem EBM (bookworm.chaos).
125 reviews33 followers
May 23, 2021
I think everybody's weird. We should all celebrate our individuality and not be embarrassed or ashamed of it. Johnny Depp

We Are All Weird is Seth Godin's cult classic on celebrating (and marketing to) the individual, now repackaged and relaunched

World of Warcrafters, LARPers, Settlers of Catan? Weird.

Beliebers, Swifties, Directioners? Weirder.

Paleos, vegans, carb loaders, ovolactovegetarians? Definitely weird.

Face it. We're all weird.

So why are companies still trying to build products for the masses?

Why are we still acting like the masses even exist?

Weird is the new normal. And only companies that figure that out have any chance of survival.

In this book, Seth Godin shows you how.

'Read this book slowly and read it again, for the lessons are rich and wise'
Jacqueline Novogratz, founder, Acumen
Profile Image for Lain.
Author 15 books118 followers
November 13, 2011
Disappointing. Not sure I agree with the idea that there is no "normal" any more. There are some things most people want - a safe neighborhood, clean water, laundry detergent that gets your whites whiter... I also long for FEWER choices in some areas of my life - Like on the detergent aisle. I don't care if my laundry smells spring fresh or mountain fresh, I just don't want to spend my limited time thinking about it. I'd rather have one 'normal' choice that worked. Also, more choice does not make us happier- that's been proven time and time again by social scientists. So maybe we need to be less weird so we can be happier?

PS I found the cover off-putting.
49 reviews6 followers
October 7, 2011
Had flashbacks of managers telling me to read the Long Tail. Sometimes I don't feel smart enough to read Godin's books...but this one was worth it when I got to what I felt was the point:
"What I care a great deal about, though, is each human's ability to express her art, to develop into the person she is able to become. I care about the connections between people and our ability to challenge and support each other as we create our own versions of art. And I care about freedom, the ability to express yourself until it impinges on someone else's happiness." Well said.
Profile Image for Jay French.
2,032 reviews74 followers
June 6, 2017
This seems to me Godin’s take on Chris Anderson’s “The Long Tail”. Godin describes how the society is splitting into little tiny interest groups, or tribes, and how the mass of the mass market is shrinking. If you aren’t paying attention to the niches, or the weird, you might miss your next area of growth. I listened on audio, and Godin’s reassuring voice explaining his concepts helps you believe in them. I’d heard much of this before, and more straightforward, but Godin’s way to tell the story is interesting to me. And the shortness of the book kept it relatively fresh.
June 15, 2018
Limited and in my opinion flawed view upon how society began to change in the latest years. Lots of assumptions, almost no proper argumentation.
Profile Image for Oleksandr Golovatyi.
404 reviews32 followers
October 22, 2017
The cool book from my one of the favorite authors - Seth Godin (his book "Purple Cow", in my opinion one of his the best book). The author talks about the end of mass and the beginning of the "nonformat". That is why, most Western companies focus on people who are "different", with non-standard thinking and with interesting business tasks and problems. (English)
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Кльова книга від мого одного з улублених авторів - Сет Годін (його книга "Фіолетова коровоа", на мою думку одна з його найкрищих). Автор розповідає про кінець масовості та початок "неформату". Саме тому, більшість західних компаній орієнтується на людей які "інакші", з нестандартним мислення і з цікавими рішеннями бізнес задач та проблем. (Українська)
Profile Image for John.
57 reviews
April 5, 2014
The Internet Age did bring people the availability of information. However, the downside is it also brought about a large signal to noise ratio with it.

Seth Godin right is one of the better people out there with the ability to “filter” through it all. There is a lot being said about how the Internet is ruining things for people. In this book, he states that the Internet has ended what we know as the “central mass market”. There is no longer “One size fits all” model that can work for anything. The way to help people in a better way is to give them the ability to make more choices. The Internet should not be looked at in terms of just economics. In should be looked at as a way to create for “opportunities for individuals”. People taking what makes the unique or in this book referred to as “weird” and build their “tribes” around it. It is about making connections based on quality rather than quantity.

This book is filled with examples that make you take notice of how the Internet has shifted things. And also that time and progress have always been moving things too.
There was a time when fishing would never be called a “sport” or a “hobby”.

In fact, if you have the time and resources to even have a “hobby” then you have some degree of “affluence”

The Internet has pointed out that “Too big to fail” is the model that will fail. If your business model is not adjusting then you have made yourself obsolete. Case in point, Napster. 80% of the music downloaded via the program was music that No Record Label was distributing at all. People were given a choice and they were searching for new music to listen to. They wanted flexibility to find what they wanted to listen to.Radio station are failing because they are narrowing down there playlists.

Lowering shipping costs has expanded who can participate in the market.

Seth Godin is an author who should be listened to more. However, the “Mass” is not going to make it easy for him. Luckily, today we have the Internet to get around the “Mass” and get to him.

The future (which is now) is not necessarily the “gloom and doom” that being portrayed by the media and the politics. People should be looking at this like Seth Godin. It is really about “challenges and opportunities” and the choices we get to make. It is about what we have and how to share it. A chance to participate.
Profile Image for Sandra (Page by Page).
123 reviews33 followers
February 5, 2014
Check my bookblog for complete review, pagebypage-sc.blogspot.com.

I had a hard time to decide the rating for We Are All Weird, whether it’s one star or two stars. Because, although I really like the main idea from Godin in this book, it is a tremendously BORING book to be read. Is it the writing style? I don’t know. Is it because I read the translation version instead? I’m not sure. I guess I’m not going to be as much bored if I listen to the audiobook version or maybe listen to Godin himself giving a presentation about We Are All Weird. I’m just feeling this book is not a reading material (ouch!).



I really want to like this book more because it begins with such a unique idea that is delivered very well, but when I read on, the same or similar ideas are elaborated repeatedly with bunch of different analogies. I know myself, the writing construction from specific idea to more general is just not working for me (so it’s not entirely the book’s fault). From the first chapter, I guess I already understood what’s Godin trying to say over this book, but as the more pages I turned, my understanding about the whole idea was getting blurrier and blurrier, so I could say I actually am not really sure what’s the point anymore. The sad thing is, it’s even not one of those thick and brains-out books (104 pages for Indonesian edition) but yes, I dragged myself to finish this.

Profile Image for Yoly.
539 reviews40 followers
March 5, 2014
Uhm... I'm going to say I liked it, but it was more of an "ok" but maybe a bit more than just "ok". I thought this would be similar to Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers or Unleashing the Ideavirus: Stop Marketing AT People! Turn Your Ideas into Epidemics by Helping Your Customers Do the Marketing thing for You. but for niche markets. I liked what he was saying (which was nothing new, but it's Seth Godin and I can listen to him talk about anything) and then he says that if we're still thinking about marketing to niche markets after reading this book we're wrong. Lost me completely right there. So I'm not so sure what I read anymore.
14 reviews
May 30, 2019
I can't remember a single thing written in this book, and it's not because of my memory.

I was very excited to read it, especially because of the title and subtitle: "the End of Normal". I really expected it to gently stroke my ego, since I do think I'm pretty weird myself. If not, I would have been happy to maybe understand the backstory and complexities of the uncommon.

Well, it's none of that. As I mentioned, I can't quite remember *what it actually is*, since it bored the spirit out of me, but shuffling through it now I kinda get a glimpse - it's basically a compilation of very basic observations about the changes in society.
Yes, we are more secluded, yes, we stay online a lot, yes, we're "weird" in comparison to who we were as a species 200 years ago. Ok, so?

Overall, I'd suggest you stay away from what seems to be a few pages taken from Godin's diary and shat into a book.
Profile Image for Dennis Duty.
Author 1 book1 follower
February 3, 2014
Something funny happens to me with Godin books. I always start thinking "This is lame... I'm WAY too advanced for this" and then the second half of the book surprises/inspires/schools me. For this book, the second half of the thought process never happened. I thought the book was boring.

I agree with everything he says, and the concepts are quite sound. If anything, the consumption of this book, for me, was a 'maintenance'/'reinforcement' book. I didn't learn anything new, but I strengthened ideals I already had.

If you've never read a Godin book, this may do something for you. If you're like me and have already read Lynchpin, Tribes, Purple Cow, Free Prize Inside, Permission Marketing... you won't find anything new here.
Profile Image for Mary Lee.
2,897 reviews56 followers
November 16, 2018
This book really resonated with me -- especially the chapter on education. Seth Godin is not a great reader (I listened to the audio edition), and I had to get used to the fact that the book sounds like a bunch of his short pieces on this topic that he gathered together (without much stitching them together) for the book. That said, I ended up buying it on Kindle so I can re-read it, mark it up, and quote it.

Just as relevant the second time around. Creepy, even, how much more important it is for us all the be "weird" in these conservative compliance-building times.
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