I remember Seth Godin from the first Internet boom as the guy who wrote the smallish marketing pieces about colored cows that I never really paid attention to. But then I had his good friend, Lisa Gansky, on my board at Tabblo and heard all about how Seth was really one of the few Internet marketing folks who "gets it."
Which was why reading his recent blog post about John Heilemann's piece on Steve Jobs and the iPhone was such a pleasure. Better yet, in the blog post Seth points to this old Fast Company piece of his where he writes about Walt Disney as the ultimate three-time rifter:
What's a rift? It's a big tear in the fabric of the rules that we live by. It's a fundamental change in the game, one that creates a bunch of new losers -- and a handful of new winners.
I love this notion— that some people are just hard-wired to spot the real rifts— because it explains a lot about the best entrepreneurs that I know. Some people call it "pattern recognition," but for me it has always seemed more like good taste around what really constitutes new opportunities and not just hype and line noise.
As Seth tells it, most rifters wander into their first rift almost by accident and then go on to think that they are gifted enough to spot rifts even when they aren't there (I guess this would be the business equivalent of second system syndrome), but it is those rare few that can keep on spotting the rifts again and again despite position, age, or stature.