Seth Godin – Linchpin

Main Ideas:

Don’t be a cog in the machine, be the machine maker, be a linch pin, someone who is necessary to keep the machine running, some one indispensable.
Give emotional value by communicating well, leading well, thinking of new ideas, being an artist. Be passionate and be discerning.
Connect with people on an emotional level, artists change people’s lives. Find how to create value in your job and DO IT
Don’t race to rock bottom prices, race to the top of value. Don’t be generic, be unique and irreplaceable.


In a world that relentlessly races to the bottom, you lose if you also race to the bottom. The only way to win is to race to the top.
Make the organization more human, more remarkable, faster on its feet, more likely to connect with customers.
Schools teach obedience and churn out factory workers who are good at following instructions and thing that consumption is an aid to social approval. They don’t produce leaders who take initiative, challenge the status quo, and interact with transparency.
Linchpin = Charm, Talent, Perseverance
If you want to be able to beat the competition on quantifiable metrics, you have to be Don Bradman better than them.
Emotional labor is the most valuable, but rarely exploited for competitive advantage. Focus on skills and interactions that allow us to stand out.
The Linchpin feels the fear, acknowledges the fear, and the proceeds, doesn’t let it overwhelm him.
Seek out achievements where there is no limit. Personal interactions don’t have asymptotes.
Linchpins don’t get jobs by sending in resumes.
Art is the product of emotional labor. If its easy and risk free, its not art.
Passion isn’t project specific, its people specific.
Real Artists Ship – Steve Jobs
One way to be come creative is to discipline yourself to generate bad ideas. The worse the better. Do it a lot and magically you’ll discover that some good ones fall through.
Bre Pettis’ Manifesto: (1) There are three states of being. No knowing, action, and completion. (2) Accept that everything is a draft. (3) There is no editing stage. (4) Pretending you know what you’re doing is the same as knowing what you’re doing. (5) Banish procrastination. Abandon ideas you take more than a week to act on. (6) The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done. (7) Once you’re done you can throw it away. (8) Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done. (9) People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right. (10) Failure counts as done. So do mistakes. (11) Destruction is a variant of done. (12) If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done. (13) Done is the engine of more.
The goal is to strip away anything that looks productive but doesn’t involve shipping.
Write down solid due date. You will ship on this date, done or not. Invite people to thrash and dream about ideas for the project. Then execute and ship on the due date.
Linchpins: (1) Provide unique interactions between members of an organization. (2) Deliver unique creativity. (3) Manage a situation or organization of great complexity. (4) Lead customers. (5) Inspire staff. (6) Provide deep domain knowledge. (7) Possess unique talents.