I’m heading to NYC this afternoon with a couple of copies of Seth Godin’s new book, Tribes, tucked into my bag. This one is truly provocative. It’s also the slimmest, smallest of his books so far which is convenient for carrying around. I typically skim business books forward and back and rarely read straight through. But the nut of this book is on the first page. It sounds simple. You have to read it a couple of times to understand why it’s spot on:

“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea… A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”

– page 1 of Tribes by Seth Godin

The challenge of the book is what’s so provocative. (Almost) any one can be a leader, Seth posits. And if not a leader, then certainly a micro-leader (someone who leads inside a tribe). With free online tools like Ning (for creating a community) and blogging, none of us has an excuse for not being a leader. Except fear of failing. Or fear of being wrong.

What’s he’s talking about is the essence of the revolution in marketing. It’s about individuals. What each of us can do individually and how that can add up to move mountains, whether it’s a cause or a company. I know I haven’t risked enough yet. With Seth’s gentle nudging (and there is a gentleness about the book), anything seems possible.

The inside of the jacket (see photo) is truly cool, BTW. It’s a collage of teeny tiny photos that Seth fans sent to him.

My favorite quote from the book:

“I could write an entire book about the power of a blog to disseminate a leader’s ideas.”

– page 54 in Tribes by Seth Godin

Useful Link

Hugh Macleod’s interview with Seth (Oct. 8, 2008)