Seth Godin Quotes From Lessons Learned in 33 Years in the Software Industry

Seth Godin on Making Software

Seth Godin spoke at Business of Software Conference USA last year to share some of the many lessons that he has learned in his 33 years in the software industry.

You can watch the talk here.

Or read a transcript if you prefer.

This year, Business of Software Conference USA is in Boston, Oct 1-3 at the Seaport Hotel.

Smart, articulate and immensely quotable, we share some of the points Seth Godin raised in this talk that are worth remembering when you build products…

Seth Godin Marketing Software

On Emotion

“Having a broken piece of software makes me feel dumb and impotent, I don’t want that”.

“Make a small promise and wildly over deliver like Google, small box and then great results.”

“Little things that make the user feel smart really matter in gaining trust.”

On Ecosytem and Community

“Ecosystem and Community are the ratchet that build community into your product. Like a ratchet or wrench, things move forward, no matter what, through word of mouth.”

On hiring

“When Hiring in a small firm: Find Marketers who can do small projects for you and focus on transactions and results.”

On customer research

“Don’t rearview things like focus on why a customer told you they didn’t buy…they usually aren’t truthful regarding why they didn’t buy anyway.”

On the business of software

“Just because it’s good software doesn’t mean it’s a good business. There must be a good way to market the business.”

On the difference between B2C and B2B

“A main difference between B2B and B2C is the B2B customer is spending someone else’s money.”

“Trust is more important than value in the buying decision – otherwise everyone will buy the cheapest option.”

“The job is to reduce fear with the customer, not increase joy. B2B buyers have to defend their decision to buy your software to the people who paid for it and/or the people who will use it.”

“What do you do when the Customer and User are not the same person? What do you do when the User does not want your software?”

On the community ‘ratchet’

“Software that works (gets adopted) works because other people use it too.”

“Marketing software means you need a way to spread the word in a way that increases the universe of users and needs a message that is worth people talking about (the purple cow). What does your software do that is remarkable…worth people talking about, getting excited about?”

On building community into your product… get people talking

“People like us do things like this” (define the this…what your software will do)”

“Start by finding the smallest group of people that would be sufficient to get it started?”

“Packaging is not obsolete – you need a way to attract people to your offering … create preference – branding.”

“(Over) Promising is obsolete – promise the one thing you can deliver upon with excellence.”

On free vs paid software

“Free (price) and cost are not related. Three reasons to make software free

  1. Earn permission

  2. Get people hooked

  3. Spread the word”

On minimum viable product

“Consider your minimum viable audience…not necessarily your minimum viable product.


“The difference between $3k software and $30k software is $27k worth of meetings.”

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