We Are All Weird Summary
8 min read ⌚
Don’t take umbrage at the title, because Seth doesn’t attach a negative connotation to the concept of weirdness.
We are impelled to believe in things and opinions imposed upon us by those who don’t understand the power of individuality.
Being weird means being unique.
And whether we like it or not, society fuels this weirdness that has swept the world.
Without further ado, let’s get to the bottom of this phenomenon.
Who Should Read “We Are All Weird”? And Why?
Well, if you are a weirdo, why not?
All joking aside, the central premise behind this book explains the idea of not falling under the influence of the mass markets.
Inasmuch as we’d all enjoy developing into a self-reliant person, that’s not something everyone can pull off.
For this reason, we feel like “We are All Weird” is best suited for those people who share this fire to break out from the collective mindset.
About Seth Godin
Seth is hailed as one of the top marketers of his generation. His books continue to lift the veil on various concepts that led people astray with regards to marketing, decision-making, and life in general.
He is the author of multiple bestsellers:
- Poke the Box
- Meatball Sundae
- All Marketers are Liars
- The Dip
- Free Prize Inside
- Purple Cow
- Survival is Not Enough
- Unleashing the Ideavirus
- Permission Marketing
“We Are All Weird PDF Summary”
Before we go any further, it’s of utmost importance to list the Four Words, which Seth deems them to be genuine representatives of the trajectory of the market.
MASS is what has defined society as it is. Mass markets and mass demand have set the rules and helped us to improve our standard of living, among other things.
According to Seth, the urge to cover the basic human needs is labeled as “undifferentiated.”
NORMAL is what we call or name the middle, or someone would prefer other expressions such as “the majority.” You have to understand that being “Normal” is localized because the thing that makes you “Normal” in one area doesn’t apply in general.
So, marketers have tried to reach out to these masses and ultimately cater to their general demand.
WEIRD is when we label people who stand from the rest with regards to physical appearance, needs, and preferences.
Different by nature is not on the same wavelength as different by choice. Unlike the first part, your choices that don’t conform to the societal implications, also fall under the “Weird” category. It’s immensely helpful if you can be yourself at least to some extent and resist the temptation to take the general path.
RICH is Seth’s perspective of individuals who have the means and the wits to make choices. No one can argue that their freedom of choice is restricted in any way whatsoever, not by any stretch of the imagination.
It represents those who are entitled to utilize more resources, and allocate them in a way they deem fit. In all honesty, you don’t need a private jet nor a fancy car to be rich, because richness is predicated on your ability to interact with the market and satisfy your demands.
Enough about this, let’s take a sneak peek into why people feel the lingering need to belong somewhere.
As it turns out, people love to organize themselves in tribes or groups led by someone.
The digital age wastes no time in introducing the new outsider culture, which doesn’t resonate with the Normal part of the community.
Seth’s argument revolves around the inefficiency of pushing forward a uniform agenda that keeps all people under the same roof.
The idea of supporting the weird and eventually becoming one yourself should be the backbone of the new era.
The chances of implementing this on a larger scale are slim to none, but that mustn’t serve as an excuse to get the ball rolling.
So, how we should organize our societies and make headway in this process?
Since the beginning of time, people have been prone to select enemies and therefore justify their so-called thirst for domination.
In this book, the battle Seth is referring to is not a political standoff but manifests the stigma between the status quo of society and the Weird.
Part 1: Capitalism, Industry and the Power of Mass—and Its Inevitable Decline
As to the assertion made out by Seth, the weird aspect embedded into each and everyone one of us questions the moral high-ground of the masses. It’s by far the best way to understand the big picture and tackle the unconscious bias permeating the society.
Society prefers to stay clear of the outliers and indoctrinate young people by compelling them to lean on the good-old mass-market strategy.
It’s totally useless to rely on a system, contrived by organizations whose methods only exist to keep things running in their favor.
People are aversive to change, and the mass market only further endorses this behavior.
It all boils down to the characteristics of the mass market to create average products for average people in order to streamline their processes.
Let that sink in.
Take this for example: if the entire work of an organization pivots around the perpetual need to satisfy and sell to the masses, then a transition could prove to be costly. Even though it doesn’t seem like a big deal, it truly is.
For argument’s sake, Seth is not trying to teach you how to sell more goods, nor does he instruct you how to better position your company in the market.
The manifesto laid out here emphasizes freedom and the right to choose; a notion that correlates with weirdness.
You cannot deny the fact that we all share certain beliefs with others, but at the same time, we espouse different values and take refuge behind those values.
The 20th century had been turbulent by all accounts, and the businesses operating amid all the political and social struggles shaped the American business community.
Winning the mass market has been the end goal for every American company. In other words, the idea of selling a product to a large percentage of people, at a high price seemed to be the only driving factor.
Deserving the epithet of weird is reflected in the notion of being free to make up your mind. It manifests your fortitude to break the societal chains, and pave your own way.
Learning to appreciate your weirdness is not a foregone conclusion, but a way of life.
Part 2: The Four Forces for Weird
In his lifetime, Seth Godin has seen many changes, all of which can be attributed to the desire to stand out from the crowd. The need to be a part of a larger group and remain stuck in normality is slowly fading away.
In addition, Seth outlines four factors that affect our perception of the world.
Let’s have a glimpse into these forces:
Force One – Creation is amplified
Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to reach out to people, shift the perception of those around you, and help them adjust their mindset.
Through the power of the Internet, every person is able to take a critical view of the world, and advocate for a full-scale alteration.
Force two: Rich allows us to do what we want, and we want to be weird
It is crystal clear that one cannot undermine the continuity in the way individuals and groups address their problems. As you become richer, your instincts and interests begin to fluctuate and modify themselves.
In the last couple of years, we are witnessing an increase in productivity which also reflects in people’s weirdness in general.
As you can see, no one can deny this correlation and overlook the inevitable truth. As we are moving beyond the need for survival, we are starting to embrace aspects which appear eccentric and odd on the surface, but their depth is not questionable.
Force three: Marketing is far more efficient at reaching the weird
The barriers to entering a certain market and reaching out to people through a channel that resonates with them are slimmed down.
This opens up the door for enthusiasts and early-adopters alike to follow their vision.
Marketers no longer require an excessive budget to get the job done. Generally speaking, the preferences of the “weirdos” help marketers build their strategies along the lines of their target group.
Marketing is still the quickest way to introduce your product to the saturated marketplace; you better make it count!
Force four: Tribes are better connected
New tribes emerge on short notice, and you’ll find organizations and people dealing with overlapping interests.
Being weird is slowly taking over the scene, and leaves most of the skeptics in disarray.
Part 3: The Gradual and Inexorable Spread of the Bell Curve
So, what is the true meaning of mass-marketing?
In layman’s terms, it embodies the big, fat, juicy share of the market. The real deal, should you prefer. Governments, corporations, and businesses have realized the potential of keeping the mass consumers dependent on specific goods.
The profit generated gives impetus to the idea of sustaining this structure. But, is it the best option?
Seth Godin doesn’t think so!
For literally thousands of years, people were on their own when it comes to the production of food, clothing, and shelter.
With the rise of industrialization, society went from the culture of “every person for himself/herself” to mass markets.
With regards to marketing, marketers have realized the potential of nailing down the problems of the “weird” portion of the population. The proficient and smart ones, under no circumstances, would treat a market segment as an independent of the whole market.
The Bell Curve explains why marketing is much more than a pursuit of more sales. Although we cannot discard the notion that trade is where the money is, the true incentive is the one which promotes growth as the ultimate goal.
In addition, let’s take a look at the forces of the normal:
- Big media
- Large service firms
- Many organized religions
- Law enforcement
And to add the finishing touches, let’s outline and take a closer look at the new forces predetermined for the weird ones:
- Explosion of wealth
- Explosion in media choices
- Explosion in shopping choices
That’s about it.
Hope you learned something about mass markets and mass consummation that is at variance with the culture of Weird.
Key Lessons from “We Are All Weird”
1. Get your head up
2. Keep refilling the cup
3. Tackle the need to belong somewhere
Get your head up
If we’ve heard it a thousand times, let’s utter those words again: Actions speak louder than words.
Work on keeping your cool when things go south, and try to subdue the immense social pressure. The cost of losing your “weirdo” nature is way too high.
It will be for the best if you apprehend the consequences of sticking to the Normal.
Keep refilling the cup
Well, the true meaning of refiling the cup is not to turn it into a brimming one. Just take a one sip at a time, and keep it from overflowing.
That way, you’ll maintain control, and preserve the weird aspects that relate to your preferences.
Tackle the need to belong somewhere
Last but not least, it’s of utmost significance to resist the urge to join a larger tribe whose program “on paper” overlaps with yours. Furthermore, it’s not something you should take for granted either.
If your agenda adds up to their broad outlook, then it’s fine, but more often than not, it’s not the case.
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“We Are All Weird Quotes”It’s human nature to be weird, but also human to be lonely. This conflict between fitting in and standing out is at the core of who we are. Click To Tweet The epic battle of our generation is between the status quo of mass and the never-ceasing tide of weird. Click To Tweet Never fear. Marketers have shifted gears and are leading the push to weird. The smart ones are in fact co-marketing with parts of the market instead of marketing at the masses. Click To Tweet We can argue about whether the loss of a cultural center is a good thing or not, but it really doesn’t matter what one generation believes is good for the next… all of our choices are leading in just one direction, which is away from the… Click To Tweet Rich is my word for someone who can afford to make choices, who has enough resources to do more than merely survive. Click To Tweet
Our Critical Review
So, is it necessary to spring into action?
By all means!
It seems that we are all weird, but some people don’t feel comfortable accentuating this part of their lives.
It’s up to you to find your balance.
Just a regular guy with a knack for writing, and digital marketing.
Emir is the Head of International and SEO at 12Min. In his spare time, he loves to meditate and play soccer.