Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin

The Powerful Culture of Gifts

  • Art is a gift, and Seth touts the power of giving gifts and not expecting anything in return. This in turn will encourage others to do the same thing. He goes so far as to say it’s impossible to be an artist without understanding the power that giving a gift creates. This was part of tribal cultures prior to the coming of money and structured society. Linchpins are generous by nature. People who give away resources online (like me) are making it clear they have wisdom to spare (thanks Seth). Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an example of a modern tribe where people help each other without the need to reciprocate.
  • Seth introduces the circles of family and friends, commerce, and the Internet. If you share your art for free with the family and Internet circles, the commerce circle will take care of itself. Linus Torvalds, the creator of the free Linux operating system, is a perfect example.
  • Metcalf’s law states that the value of a network increases with the square of the number of nodes. This makes the Internet one big gift system. Every artist Seth has ever met wanted to build bonds and make connections.
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