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Seth Godin on The Domino Project

The Domino Project was a year-long project from Seth Godin where he reinvented the publishing industry.

You can read more about it at http://www.thedominoproject.com

Here is how Seth pursued The Domino Project opportunity (right in his own words)

I first met Jeff Bezos about 16 years ago. From the beginning, I saw the opportunity for Amazon to be involved in original titles… they have distribution, sure, but they are alone in knowing who likes what and having permission to contact people about that insight.

I pitched the idea to them every few years from that day, and they repeatedly said they weren’t ready.

After I announced that I was done with traditional publishing (about a year ago), Amazon contacted me and said, “if you’re up for starting your own publishing company, we’d like to work with you to invent the next step.”

And so, my bluff called, here I am.

I think the Kindle is a game changer, abundance instead of scarcity, connection, low marginal cost–it all adds up to a whole new way to think about publishing.

There were two big challenges:

First, overcoming the fear of walking away from what I’d always said I wanted–a big publisher who would bring authority and leverage and resources to the book.

Second, freeing myself to reinvent as many elements of the project as I could, because to do it in a boring way would be beside the point…

We sat down in December and I presented almost ten pages (single spaced) of ideas, notions and projects. Amazon is not my partner… Domino is independent… but we’re leveraging their assets and helping them to see a different way of bringing books and ideas to readers.

The first book was written in December, the second, by Steve Pressfield, in January. Poke the Box was published in March, became a top 10 bestseller and we were off to the races. Steve’s book, Do the Work, went to #1 on the Kindle in April, and we have more than seven new projects in the pipeline.

My Notes:

What I took away from the story was that from the time Seth got an idea for The Domino Project to the time it took birth, the elapsed time was (hold your breath here) 16 years. Seth waited for the RIGHT time for more than a decade. Sometimes it just takes a LONG time before the conditions are ripe for your idea to become a reality.

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