Not since reading Crush It! in January have I been this passionately enthusiastic. Today, I listened to an audio interview of Seth Godin that’s part of my Captured Mind newsletter subscription (not an affiliate link). Artists are the linchpins of our new giving economy.
Artists, Seth explained, don’t just create paintings or blog posts. Instead an artist is someone who creatively provides solutions in a way that can’t be easily systemized or outsourced. Joe Sorge’s AJ Bombers restaurant is art by Seth’s definition. Joe is an artist who can do it again but I bet you can’t. That makes Joe a linchpin. History may show us that AJ Bombers is to Joe Sorge as the Mona Lisa is to Da Vinci.
I do read Seth’s blog each day. He’s one smart cookie and almost always connects with what I’m thinking and doing. The age of the factory is over. Not just the factory like Ford builds cars in but the factory where armies of people create insurance polices and then send armies of salespeople out to sell them to you. Capitalism is over and has been replaced by the giving economy.
Factory owners will no longer be the most highly compensated members of society. If your job looks anything like a cog be afraid, very afraid. Your job can and will be outsourced. As Seth (and many before him have) pointed out factories will still exist, they will simply exist wherever it is cheapest to do the work. Plus, the cost of the machines in the information age is almost nonexistent. I manage all my enterprise on a single sub-$1500 computer. I’m typing on it right now. Almost everything else is in the cloud and I pay as I go.
The material part of competing with me is easy. The creative part, not so much. This blog has posts dating back 5 years. There’s enough that if you wrote one a day it would take a year to catch me (during which year I’d be getting another year ahead of you). My business partner and I have built a suite of software tools that when combined with our expertise provides a very unique set of tools to add to your color verification and process control tool box. We are artists. We are linchpins. After sixteen years in business I can say that with confidence.
I am not a one size fits all solution. My company does not provide one size fits all solutions. Not everyone will want to do business with us and here’s the hook….I will not want to do business with all of you. Sounds more like a temperamental artist than a software executive right? Last time I checked commissioned works of art sell for a heck of a lot more than lithographed prints.
You are an artist, I know you are. What’s your art? Do you work almost exclusively on that? Do you ship your artwork each day? In the answers to these questions lies your ability to become a linchpin and chart your own course from here on out.