When I first read Seth Godin‘s blog, I was mesmerized.
He is one of the world’s most respected leaders on marketing and business. He wrote a dozen best-selling book that has been translated to 33 languages. He starts movements and shake the business worlds with his forward thinking. The words coming out of his head is just pure gold, and I just couldn’t imagine how many lives that have changed after reading his books and blog.
Ever heard of Typepad? No? Me too.
Typepad is a lot less (correct me if I’m wrong) popular blogging platform than Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, and all of those other stuff you have been hearing. When all of the other platforms have been adding bells and whistles and themes and plugins over the years, Typepad is like this old, boring, just-meh kinda platform.
Well, Seth writes his blog on a Typepad account. Still does. Almost as often as one post a day.
I imagined that he chose Typepad way back then when it was as cool as Blogger, picked a theme, and never changed it at all ever since.
Apparently I found out he did change the design just very recently, but in the years I’ve been reading his blog, it had always looked like this:
It looked very old for the year 2012. The sidebar is screaming “Hello 2004!” and there is no cool graphics to be found.
Once I read his response to a reader email that asked him why he doesn’t move to a cooler website, get some design going or add some sidebars gizmos.
I forget his exact response, but it was something that sounded like this:
“People make things pretty when they should’ve make things better.
The time and energy I would’ve spent on designing and maintaining a cooler website is better spent on the writings that get people to do something, which is what this blog is all about.
All I care about is how I write better everytime and how I put it out there for people to read.
The current blog do that just nicely.”
It sure does. His blog is one of the most read in the world, and I haven’t met any business leaders/innovative entrepeneurs who does’t follow his blog religiously.
We spend weeks designing the sidebar and the flash banner, but upload crap to our blogs.
We spend days editing and retouching and photoshopping, but spend zero hours learning how to shoot better.
We add crazy designs to our albums, because our photos just barely make it to acceptable.
We tweak and add tens of features, when we should’ve been improving the one most important thing.
If our food is that amazingly delicious, we wouldn’t need a fancy restaurant or gold plated plates to have people queued out the door.
Going after the better food, and not the plate, has been the focus of our company ever since.
*** I am reminded of this long overdue post when I visited Jill Greenberg’s website today, which is not on some fancy designed website, but on a humble (and free?) Tumblr account. Visit it and you’ll see why right now she is one of the most sought-after, award-winning, style-defining commercial photographers. The free Tumblr will do just fine.