Digital Texture and Marketing Flywheels and Seth Godin and Zoom

Writing often is a good habit.

Seth Godin does it.

I was about to list other daily writers. But let’s just focus on Seth Godin and the amazing flywheel that he has created. Because his flywheel completely distracted me from the original point of this post (“daily writing is good!”).

I read his email every morning. In fact, the reason I jumped over to WordPress and started my daily blogging habit just now was because I was reading his daily email.

Then I started typing this blog post and I jumped over to the Seth Godin website to grab a link for the second sentence above. When I did that, I saw his newest book, This is Marketing. I realized that this book would be perfect for a big-ish project I am about to start working on. So I ordered a copy of the hardbound edition for $15 (strangely, the paperback is $19).

All of this reminds me of a concept that has been bouncing around in my marketing brain: Digital Texture. Seth Godin may be the best example of Digital Texture in the world.

There has been a massive movement to the digital world as a result of COVID-19. The most obvious example is meetings. I have done hundreds of Zoom meetings over the last six months in place of in-person meetings.

Zoom meetings are flat, both literally and figuratively. Literally, you see a screen, with other little screens, and human heads displayed on those screens. Sound comes out of your computer speakers or headphones; one particular screen containing a human head flashes to indicate who is speaking (so you are not groping about to identify the speaker).

There is a limit to how much of this flat digital world our brain can handle before it becomes weary of the process.

Zoom meetings are also flat, figuratively. This is because of the aforementioned weary brains. I did not realize my Zoom weariness (and the weariness I was causing others) until I read through (yes, him again) Seth’s Rules for Zoom. I was failing on nearly every single one of these rules.

The point is that we have moved to digital, but we have not yet made digital a textured world, one in which we want to engage in. Zoom is just a one-way street. A textured digital world is the one Seth Godin has created, with blog posts, daily emails, courses, books, digital books, etc.

Eventually the rest of the world will catch up to Seth. Maybe COVID-19 hastened this catch up process?

Everybody’s gotta eat

This is an online journal, of sorts. I am going to keep ideas here, develop thoughts. So if someone wants to follow that messy journey, they can.

Everybody’s gotta eat is a quote that has stuck with me for over ten years. I was a young attorney working for a partner. He summoned me to his office to talk about a claim stemming from a contract in the Middle East. He informed me that there was no signed, formal contract as this was abnormal in the Middle East.

“How can you do work without a contract?” I wondered aloud.

“Everyone’s gotta eat,” the partner responded.

One of the ideas that I am particularly focused on right now is social inflation. The phrase stems from a 1975 Berkshire Hathaway letter in which Warren Buffet blamed social inflation for poor insurance performance. Buffet describes it like this:

“Social” inflation caused the liability concept to be expanded continuously, far beyond limits contemplated when rates were established—in effect, adding coverage beyond what was paid for. Such social inflation increased significantly both the propensity to sue and the possibility of collecting mammoth jury awards for events not previously considered statistically significant in the establishment of rates.”

Warren Buffett

So is this an insurance scapegoat? Or is there more to social inflation?