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This Is Broken

Why are so many things broken? In a hilarious talk from the 2006 Gel conference, Seth Godin gives a tour of things poorly designed, the 7 reasons why they are that way, and how to fix them.

Published September 12, 2010 in Opinion      3 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Seth Godin at Gel 2006 from Gel Conference on Vimeo.

"Seth Godin may be the ultimate entrepreneur for the Information Age," Mary Kuntz wrote in Business Week nearly a decade ago. "Instead of widgets or car parts, he specializes in ideas -- usually, but not always, his own." In fact, he's as focused on spreading ideas as he is on the ideas themselves.

After working as a software brand manager in the mid-1980s, Godin started Yoyodyne, one of the first Internet-based direct-marketing firms, with the notion that companies needed to rethink how they reached customers. His efforts caught the attention of Yahoo!, which bought the company in 1998 and kept Godin on as a vice president of permission marketing. Godin has produced several critically acclaimed and attention-grabbing books, including Permission Marketing, All Marketers Are Liars, and Purple Cow (which was distributed in a milk carton). In 2005, Godin founded, a Web site where users can share links and information about an idea or topic important to them.

"[Godin] is a demigod on the Web, a best-selling author, highly sought-after lecturer, successful entrepreneur, respected pundit and high-profile blogger. He is uniquely respected for his understanding of the Internet."



September 12, 2010, 12:28:22 PM
Godin's talk could very well be about the german goat humping that describes everyone of the agencies that affect downtown (with the exception of Special Events)

Especially poignant are the sign design comments when dealing with JTA.


Four Years ago, Downtown Vision had been working on wayfaring signage for approximately four years.

Where are these signs?

Jerry Moran

September 12, 2010, 04:53:06 PM
Four Years ago, Downtown Vision had been working on wayfaring signage for approximately four years.

Where are these signs?

Answer: Slowly peeling off downtown parking meters and sidewalks.

A heroic effort at downtown revitalization from the City's least competent downtown agency, Downtown Vision Incorporated. 


September 12, 2010, 06:19:38 PM
You know what's broken? The ground beneath the Skyway. I refuse to go into the general uselessness of the Skyway itself right now, but I think it's worth pointing out that the track could provide more shelter from the elements to pedestrians.

The Skyway blocks the blazing sun and the pouring rain from the sidewalks below, so what did they do? Planted big chunks of shrubbery at intervals so that you can't stay in the shelter of the Skyway's vast shadow when it's really hot or rainy. I have nothing against ornamental greenery, but did they HAVE to put it directly in the path of pedestrians who are trying to avoid skin cancer and drowning?

Stupid, stupid, stupid. It's a small thing, but the person who decided where to put the bushes has obviously never actually walked down Hogan Street, and the people who planted them may have thought it was stupid, but they did it anyway.
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