Permission and Trust, Part 2

In the podcast series, Seth Godin’s Startup School, Seth Godin gave a guided tour to a group of highly-motivated early-stage entrepreneurs on some of the questions they will have to dig deep and ask themselves while they build up their business. Here are my takeaways from various topics discussed in the podcast episodes.

  • A blog is an extraordinarily, inexpensive, and low-risk tribe building tool. If we commit to writing something for the benefit of our tribe every day, we will increase the footprint we have with our tribe over time. Those footprints will lead to more trust given to us by our tribe. Over time, these interactions, which are free, will scale.
  • At some point, we might decide there is something we want to do for these people and to leverage them. With the interactions we have been building, the business ideas will come to us and keep presenting themselves.
  • When people follow closely on what you do and support your work, Kevin Kelly calls these people the one thousand true fans. We need to think hard about what story we want someone, who hears us, to tell others about what we do.
  • The key to what we are building is “can we build something that would be missed if it was gone?” Can we become the speaker, or the impresario, or the connector that, if we were not there, our tribe would have to scramble before finding someone who could do what we did?
  • How do we make what we are making significantly more inexpensive? The key thing to think about is the assumptions we have built into our business. For components that might not contribute to the core of our offering, critically scrutinize them and see whether we can do it cheaply or not at all.
  • One of the big advantages we have for being small and being new is the things we do not have. We do not have a committee and complicated processes. Not every customer wants the agility or nimbleness, but that is an interesting place for us to start. We can create things with people who value the things we do, as opposed to pretending to be someone else that we are not.
  • When it comes to shipping, it is so easy to become paralyzed in the pursuit of perfection. We are so worried about launching in this spectacular way that we never launch. Launching big in the connection economy is overrated. We may only be able to engage a few people, but that is enough to get started. These early adopters understand the value, and, if they trust you to deliver the value, they will pay you for it.