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Home » How to Get Your Ideas to Spread: Seth Godin (Transcript)

How to Get Your Ideas to Spread: Seth Godin (Transcript)

Here is the transcript and summary of marketing guru Seth Godin’s talk titled “How to Get Your Ideas to Spread” at TED conference.

In this TED talk, Seth Godin discusses how to get your ideas to spread by finding those who are interested in what you are doing and selling them on your idea. He provides the examples of a 40-foot-tall dog made out of bushes in New York City, an artist who wants to build a 55-foot-tall lava lamp in the center of town, and the founding fathers who decided to build something safe in Soap Lake, Washington.


I’m going to give you four specific examples. I’m going to cover at the end about how a company called Silk tripled their sales; how an artist named Jeff Koons went from being a nobody to making a whole bunch of money and having a lot of impact; to how Frank Gehry redefined what it meant to be an architect.

And one of my biggest failures as a marketer in the last few years — a record label I started that had a CD called “Sauce.” Before I can do that, I’ve got to tell you about sliced bread, and a guy named Otto Rohwedder.

Now, before sliced bread was invented in the 1910s I wonder what they said? Like the greatest invention since the telegraph or something. But this guy named Otto Rohwedder invented sliced bread, and he focused, like most inventors did, on the patent part and the making part.

And the thing about the invention of sliced bread is this — that for the first 15 years after sliced bread was available no one bought it; no one knew about it; it was a complete and total failure. And the reason is that until Wonder came along and figured out how to spread the idea of sliced bread, no one wanted it. That the success of sliced bread, like the success of almost everything we’ve talked about at this conference, is not always about what the patent is like, or what the factory is like — it’s about can you get your idea to spread, or not.

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