Book Review – We Are All Weird
We love books at Workplace and you can often find us book swapping or at the very least, sharing our favourite ideas and quotes from each of them.
I recently walked past Workplace Member, Martin Dangerfield’s desk and noticed he was reading our last reviewed marketing book “On Purpose”. I mentioned it was one of my favourite books alongside Purple Cow. To my surprise, he then produced another book by Seth Godin, one that I’d never come across, and suggested I read it.
Now I am a fan of the lovely Seth so it does not take much to encourage me to read his works. Like most of Seth’s books, it’s a quick two-hour read which I often find is the best approach to business books. He keeps it simple and precise and never more so than in “We are all Weird”.
“The opportunity of our time is to support the weird, to sell to the weird and if you wish to become weird”
For those who don’t know, Godin is an American marketeer who has written for years about how to surprise your market, to be noticed and not ignored. This book follows the same synopsis and explores how most marketing is geared at the masses, making note of how everything over time gets shrunk to fit their needs.
We are mostly made to conform to and follow these masses. Big companies have made money by not being personal and individual, by producing lots of the same, keeping costs down, margins high and trying to be all things to all men.
“The epic battle of our generation is between the status quo of mass and the never-ceasing tide of weird”
The book follows on from the ideas shared in Purple Cow which talks about how when driving past a field of cows every day you stop noticing them, but if one day the cows are Purple, you would suddenly notice them. The weird are the purple cows. Based on this, it encourages you to explore the different, the unique and the individual needs of your market and create a tribe of “weird”. It is very much based on how the Internet has allowed the weird to rise to the top and share their ideas.
“The weird are now more important that the many, because weird are the many”
Seth feels that, for many companies, average is good and average is where they want us to be, as it makes their job easier. But, great companies strive to be unique and find their own market rather than trying to just take a little bit of the average market. If you can do this, you are forming your own tribe and your own followers rather than trying to compete with the masses.
“If your feet are in two buckets and the average temperature of the water is 90 degrees, you’re probably fine—unless one bucket is at 35 and the other is at 145 degrees. On average, you’re fine. Based on variation, though, you’re miserable.”
The quote above really sums up the book and I think it is a good recommendation. I have always been in search of our own destiny at Workplace and not wanted to be the same as all the other coworking spaces and I think we have achieved this.
The trick now is to keep searching for other like-minded professionals who are engaged by this different approach to coworking and to keep on being different as the market sees what we are doing is good and tries to conform.
You should be careful that what you once created and considered as “weird” does not become the mass, as this is not the lesson from the book.
Thank you Martin, a very good read and I might even give you the book back…. one day!