Seth W. Godin is an American author and former dot com business executive.
After leaving Spinnaker in 1986, he used $20,000 in savings to found Seth Godin Productions, primarily a book packaging business, out of a studio apartment in New York City. He then met Mark Hurst and founded Yoyodyne (named in jest after the fictional Yoyodyne from Thomas Pynchon). After a few years, Godin sold the book packaging business to his employees and focused his efforts on Yoyodyne, where he promoted the concept of permission marketing.
Yoyodyne, launched in 1995, used contests, online games, and scavenger hunts to market companies to participating users. In August 1996, Flatiron Partners invested $4 million in Yoyodyne in return for a 20% stake. At Yoyodyne, Godin published Permission Marketing: Turning strangers into friends and friends into customers. In 1998, he sold Yoyodyne to Yahoo! for about $30 million and became Yahoo's vice president of direct marketing.
In March 2006, Godin launched Squidoo. In July 2008, Squidoo was one of the 500 most visited sites in the world. By 2014, it was no longer considered financially viable and was sold to HubPages.
Godin is the author of numerous books. Free Prize Inside was a Forbes Business Book of the Year in 2004, while Purple Cow sold over 150,000 copies in more than 23 print runs in its first two years. The Dip was a Business Week and New York Times bestseller; Business Week also named Linchpin among its "20 of the best books by the most influential thinkers in business" on November 13, 2015.
In June 2013, Godin raised more than $250,000 from readers with a Kickstarter campaign, which in turn secured him a book contract with his publisher for his book "The Icarus Deception."
Godin was inducted into the American Marketing Association's Marketing Hall of Fame in 2018.
Godin has a chapter giving advice in Tim Ferriss' book Tools of Titans.
Seth Godin's blog was named by Time among its 25 best blogs of 2009.
- The Smiley Dictionary. Berkeley: Peachpit Press. 1993. ISBN 1-56609-008-3.
- eMarketing: Reaping Profits on the Information Highway. New York: Berkley Pub. Group. 1995. ISBN 0-399-51904-1.
- Permission marketing: turning strangers into friends, and friends into customers. New York: Simon & Schuster. 1999. ISBN 0-684-85636-0.
- If You're Clueless about Selling: And Want to Know More. Dearborn Financial Publishing. 1998. ISBN 0-793-12989-3.
- Unleashing the Ideavirus. New York: Hyperion. 2001. ISBN 0-7868-8717-6. – Detailing the idea of Viral marketing
- The Big Red Fez: How To Make Any Web Site Better. New York: Free Press. 2002. ISBN 0-7432-2790-5.
- Survival is not enough: zooming, evolution, and the future of your company. New York: Free Press. 2002. ISBN 0-7432-2571-6.
- Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable. New York: Portfolio. 2003. ISBN 1-59184-021-X.
- Free Prize Inside!: The Next Big Marketing Idea. New York: Portfolio. 2004. ISBN 1-59184-041-4.
- All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World. New York: Portfolio. 2005. ISBN 1-59184-100-3.
- Godin, Seth, ed. (2005). The Big Moo: Stop Trying to be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable. New York: Portfolio. ISBN 1-59184-103-8.
- Small Is the New Big: and 193 Other Riffs, Rants, and Remarkable Business Ideas. New York: Portfolio. 2006. ISBN 1-59184-126-7.
- The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick). New York: Portfolio. 2007. ISBN 978-1-59184-166-1.
- Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing out of Sync?. New York: Portfolio. 2008. ISBN 978-1-59184-174-6.
- Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us. Portfolio. 2008. ISBN 978-1-59184-233-0.
- Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?. Portfolio. 2010. ISBN 978-1-59184-316-0.
- Poke the Box. Portfolio. 2011. ISBN 978-1-936719-00-6.
- We Are All Weird. The Domino Project. 2011. ISBN 978-1-936719-22-8.
- The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?. Portfolio. 2012. ISBN 978-0-6709-2292-5.
- V Is for Vulnerable: Life Outside the Comfort Zone. Portfolio. 2012. ISBN 978-1591846109.
- Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck?: And Other Provocations. Portfolio. 2013. ISBN 978-15918-4609-3.
- What To Do When It's Your Turn (and it's always your turn). Seth Godin. 2014. ISBN 978-19367-1931-0.
- This Is Marketing: You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn To See. Seth Godin. 2018. ISBN 978-0-525-54083-0.
- The Practice: Shipping Creative Work. Portfolio. 2020. ISBN 978-0-593-32897-2.
Godin and his wife Helene live in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York with their two sons.