Quotes from Seth Godin [99U]

  • May 8, 2014
  • INK Team

99U host – and Behance co-founder and creative genius – Scott Belsky opened with a short story when he introduced Seth Godin on stage for a live Q&A with the audience. A while ago, Godin said to him, “Scott, don’t stop making a ruckus.”

This piece of advice perked our ears. While the rest of the speakers up until this point had amazing, inspiring, goosebump-evoking stories to tell, for some reason the atmosphere changed when Godin took the stage. Instead of scribbling down notes and taking pictures of the giant slideshow, everyone was still. Like they were absorbing every word he had to say.

Each question Godin answered had a key nugget of wisdom, but here are three messages that dug into what every creative wants to know.


 “Honor your intent to finish a problem.”


Godin gave us a little insight into his creative process. A lot of ideas cross his mind and all are written down. No idea is too small, too horrible or too incomplete to be thrown out just yet. As Godin says, “It’s free to be wrong.” Then comes the thrashing, the deciding point at which he resolves what to pursue and what to kill. Many, many ideas are killed and only a small percent make it through the thrashing process, as there’s a limited amount of time and energy that can be dedicated to an idea. Once Godin is set on moving forward with an idea, he honors his intent to complete it.

Finishing a problem is just as important to the creative process as coming up with a great idea.


“Create something that is offensive. That is only going to appeal to the weird.”


Everyone calls themselves artists these days, but the true artists are the ones that differentiate themselves from those that are doing what everyone else is doing. Don’t be afraid to do something different, weird, offensive. This helps others to identify your brand.


“You will not be doing great work if you can’t say, ‘This is not for you.’ If you are insistent on pleasing everyone, you will please no one.”


Going hand in hand with the idea above, being a creative, an artist, a brand that is creating something purposeful means that there will be groups that simply do not identify with what you’re doing. Have the courage to not please everyone. Be specific and be different to create something substantial.

After thirty minutes of answering our questions, Godin graciously walked off stage with one final piece of advice: “Go make a ruckus.”


See what else I learned at the 2014 99U Conference from Tina Roth Eisenberg and Oliver Burkeman.