Reflections on Seth Godin’s Tribes video

March 27, 2009

In the video Seth Godin presents his ideas in his book, Tribes. It primarily deals with building and leading tribes.(


Seth Godin explains tribes as being a community of people who have something in common or have some kind of connection. Godin says: “Belonging to a tribe is a fundamental element of being a human being.” He mentions church, work and community as being some fundamental tribes during history. The Internet has contributed to the increasing development of various tribes all around the world. People use different databases to find others they can connect with and create a tribe with. Godin also says that people join tribes because they what to belong to something and when they are in a tribe they obtain the feeling of belonging. Other tribes could be fire officers, people with the same facial expression, geeky people or sports fans.

Crowd vs. Tribe

Godin says: “A crowd is a bunch of people.” These people do not necessarily have anything in common. A tribe on the other hand, consists of people who have a connection and have something that clearly indicates that they have something in common. These tribes can be large or small but there will always be some outsiders that are not a part of the tribe and that issue is really what makes the difference between the crowd and the tribe. In the crowd there are no outsiders.

Godin says that markers deal with crowd generalizations. Instead of doing that they should deal with tribes. It is more difficult to deal with tribes but they are much more powerful.

How to create a tribe   

Godin emphasizes that: ”The tactics are not as important as the results of the game.” He gives an example of how Laura F. joined Twitter ( a couple of years ago and now she is followed by about 1000 people and consulting them about social media. Godin explains that she succeeded because she figured out how to lead a tribe and how to get in touch with the people who are going to be connected.     


Godin says that the definition of marketing is no longer copywriting or media buying but stresses that the future of marketing is to decide to be a leader.

As a last interesting point Godin lists 7 elements that leaders have when they work with a tribe:

1.      Challenge

2.      Culture

3.      Curiosity

4.      Charisma

5.      Communicate

6.      Connect

7.      Commit








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