OK, I must admit I’m a big fan of Seth Godin’s work. I had a pleasure of interviewing Seth for the issue #10 of the Productive! Magazine and I read several of his books. This is the new one, the one he wrote for a very cool (and successful) Kickstarter campaign. This post is about two concepts that struck me with this book: (1) we all should look at ourselves as artists who (2) want to play an infinite game.
Seth Godin is a very cool (and controversial) person. Many people think he’s the ultimate marketer of his own work and most of all - that he’s repeating the same message over several books he’s writing. I can’t say it’s not true… but I also think he’s brilliant at what he does… and most of all - his books are very inspirational and give me a very positive “kick in the …” when I need it. Seth is also on a mission - to make the best of us.
While the “Icarus” reiterates ideas from Seth’s past books, it also brought in a few new concepts that caught my attention:
We are all artists
Yes, Seth was talking about art a few times back but it was after reading this book that I realized that I really am an artist myself. That we are all artists. That my developers, my customer support team, we are all artists. That our art is Nozbe, Productive! Magazine and other things we do to help you get more done.
Why is this so important? Because like art, we have the same doubts, we fight, we try to be understood, try to create a meaning, try to help others, try to make a small “dent in the universe”… and our “lizard brain” every day tries to tell us we should just stop and get a “real job”.
Understanding that you’re an artist changes the dynamic of your work. You appreciate it more… and you have more strength every day to keep fighting and living with the Resistance.
The concept of the “Infinate Game”
This is something I’ve been trying to explain very often to people and couldn’t. People ask me why after 6 years of running Nozbe I’m still “just getting started” and I’d always go on and on about how many opportunities to improve productivity they were… and how I wanted to do it… but the best explanation is this: I’m playing the “infinite game”.
I love my job. I love the work we do at Nozbe and I’m in it for the long haul playing the “infinite game” - if I were to run this productivity service that hundreds of thousands (and then millions) of people and companies use every single day to get things done for the rest of my life… I’d be the luckiest man alive. It’s a privilege to be able to serve my community and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
I don’t have a magic crystal ball. I have no clue what the future holds for me in the long run. All I know is that from where I stand right now, if I were to run Nozbe for the rest of my life, I’d be honored, humbled… and really happy. I am now. This is my “infinite game”.
“The game is infinite if you play it that way. You get to keep making your art as long as you’re willing to make the choices that let you make your art.” - Seth Godin, The Icarus Deception
Just two concepts, but very powerful ones
Seth talks a lot more in this book and I listened to all of it but these two concepts stood out for me and I’m glad Seth read the book to me. Thank you Seth.
Question: What’s your art? What is your infinite game? Are you in it for the long haul, with all your heart?