The rise of the rulebreaker

Seth Godin Your TurnLast night I discovered that one of my favourite authors, Seth Godin, is releasing a new book.

Despite being the author of 12 bestselling books translated into 30 languages, Seth has decided not to write a normal book again: It’s not released through a mainstream publisher and it doesn’t even look like a conventional book.

Having noticed that few people have the patience for a lengthy book on one topic, Seth has created his new book to look more like a magazine. It’s shorter, has less text and a lot more photos and graphics.

Personally, I love the idea! I’m tired of books with one simple idea drawn out over 500 pages because that’s what a ‘serious book’ is supposed to look like.

And instead of trying to make it a New York Times bestseller, he is focussing on selling multiple copies of the book to each buyer who can then sell it or give it to their friends and colleagues in a new kind of “horizontal distribution”. Plus he’s raising the funds to publish it in advance using a crowd-funding platform.

Aside from my excitement for Seth’s new book (which I immediately ordered 3 copies of), I realised something even more important from seeing Seth break all the rules of books and publishing:

This is the era for rule-breaking

Just this week, Thom Yorke of Radiohead released his new solo album as a paid BitTorrent download distributed peer-to-peer for just $6 with more of the money going to the artist.

Also this week, bike shop owner Paul Budnitz announced his new social network Ello as ‘the anti-facebook’ and hit 31,000 requests an hour from people wishing to join.

It’s new technology that is enabling us to smash all the rules in so many areas of life and work. The old rules and restrictions are breaking down – for what we can do for a living and how we can get paid for it, for how we can connect with others and share our passions and expertise, how we build an audience, how we find others to collaborate remotely to help us, and even where we can live while we make a living.

Today we can all be a rule-breaker. All we need is the bravery to go against the norm.

What rule do you want to break?

Is there an industry or field you’d like to change? Or do you want to revolutionise the way something is currently done? What would you like to make happen that would have been hard or impossible not so long ago?

Leave a comment and let me know…



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