Posted by: Marshall Sponder | July 29, 2008

Build new icons instead of replacing existing icons – Seth Godin

Haven’t gotten much out of Seth Godin’s blog lately – he’s probably to conceptual for me lately – it’s as if the social media marketing terrain has changed, but he hasn’t.

On the other hand, he said something today in a post about  Marilyn Monroe, the Mona Lisa and Jackson Pollock where

challenge for organizations is this: the easiest projects to start and fund are those that go after existing icons. The search for the “next” is easy to explain and exciting to join because we can visualize the benefits. But success keeps going to people who build new icons, not to those that seek to replace the most successful existing ones.

The idea is not to build a better Google, for example, because Google is an icon, and is hard to knock off from the icon status.

Google, of course, is the Marilyn Monroe of search. I have no doubt that someone will develop a useful tool one day that takes time and attention away from Google, but it won’t be a search engine. Google, after all, isn’t broken, not in terms of solving the iconic “how do I find something online using my web browser” question.

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