Book Review: Tribes by Seth Godin

One thing you can always say about Seth Godin's books:  They're always very readable.  Tribes is no exception.  It was an enjoyable read, but disappointing.  The book did have some good points, but I think it focused too much on saying you can be and you need to be a leader.   People that take initiative don't need convincing to do so.  For those that do need convincing, this book won't do it.  Godin's treatment of how to handle the fear of risk (or losing your job) is simplistic at best.  What he describes as "factories" still drive most of the jobs, even though many of them are smaller companies.  The idea that you are guaranteed a better job if you take risks is unrealistic in this day and age.  

The sad part of it is that there's really good concepts in Tribes that get buried by his focus on leading.   I really appreciated his definition of a tribe as anything 1) possessing a shared interest and 2) a way to communication.  The next point is that the internet allows people to create and join tribes in an amazing way - there are no limits on what tribes can be and how big or small they are.  

The idea of being able to join or create a tribe around something that you are passionate about and get involved and active is the gem of this book.  Small numbers of people can have an amazing impact, where 20 years ago, it might have taken a huge organization to make a difference because of the logistics involved.  Modern technology (i.e. the internet) has eliminated many of the barriers to communication and resources.  

I enjoyed the examples Seth Godin gives, but I have a better one from just this week - my husband created a group to support a little girl with a terminal disease who was being harassed by a neighbor.   Within a day of creating the page, it had over a thousand members and growing.   If you look around, you could probably find hundreds of examples of that.

It's now much easier to find groups around your passions, no matter how unusual, and become active.  GET INVOLVED with your passions.   It doesn't have to be in a big way or really risky.

So what did you think of Tribes?