I regrettably missed out on the inaugural Denver Startup Week in 2012, and so I was determined to attend at least a portion of this time around. This year’s event is an entirely different beast (which you can read about on The Denver Post site if you can get past the barrage of annoying ads). It’s twice the size, with over 125 scheduled events – all of which are free. I do like free.
I scored a ticket to the Monday opening luncheon, which featured the popular marketing guru Seth Godin as the main speaker. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not wired for hero worship, but as a long-time follower of Godin’s blog and writing, I do admire many of his insights. I’d never heard him speak live, and he delivered a thoughtful keynote that touched on many of his standard themes (marketing to tribes, becoming a purple cow, etc…), punctuated with apt examples from real-world businesses.
I furiously scribbled down a few of his ideas, which I paraphrase here:
- On our changing world: “The music industry is dead. Music is doing fine.”
- On relationship marketing: “There are two ways you can try to get married: go to a singles bar and ask every stranger you meet to marry you or go on a series of dates and get to know your intended bride first. Does anyone think the first method really works?”
- On your tribe (who you market to): “Your real mission is to delight and overwhelm them, to become an indispensable supplier to them such that they cannot go forward without you.”
- On how companies succeed: “You cannot buy mind space with cash. You must buy it with connections.”
- On how we must market in today’s world: “Build a story worth spreading.”