Hyperbole and Bad Advice

June 12, 2011 by Gabe | [mmd] |

I think Seth Godin writes some thought provoking pieces. I worry that he is following the recent trend of embracing hyperbole to fill a blog with fluff. Typically, hyperbole is just a waste of the reader's time. Sometimes it is actually bad advice.

It's great to try to encourage people to push themselves to do new and difficult things. The reality is that some success is from hard work and some is from good luck. Most is from a combination of both. Unfortunately Seth's latest post has statements like:

"Work for a coal mine and make minimum wage. Discover a coal mine and never need to work again".

Coal mines are not discovered. They are built... on land rights and enormous sums of money. Go ahead, start digging in the ground today. Work very, very hard and let me know when you have a coal mine.

I think I know what Seth was trying to do, but this approach is a not the right way. It's also starting to feel like a trend a number of tech, GTD, and tips sites are starting to push. A simple idea is turned into a quick infomercial with quotable lines that have no basis in reality.