This Is Broken

This Is Broken




  • Innovative
  • Well Structured
  • Engaging


Seth Godin identifies several “broken” products, marketing messages and systems. His slides and examples generate giggles and disbelief. Some, such as poor signage at John F. Kennedy International Airport, are frequent annoyances. Others, such as the sign on a fence that reads, “Do Not Post Signs on Fence,” are quirky and absurd. The underlying message in Godin’s humor is relevant: Product or service design must benefit the user. If not, it’s broken. getAbstract recommends this video as preparation for investigating what might be broken at your company.


When Seth Godin purchased a new phone from Cingular, he received a rebate card. It was difficult to use and therefore was a “broken” service. Instead of building a positive relationship with the customer, the company designed the cards so few people would redeem them. In another example, despite a spate of taxis at Newark Airport, it still takes an hour to get a cab. The system is broken. Things break for myriad reasons, including the following seven:

  1. “Not my job” – Those who can fix a problem don’t because they feel they are not responsible. For instance, a sign posted in a public park declared, “Soccer Not Allowed – Soccer May Only Be Played...

About the Speaker

Seth Godin is an author, speaker and marketing authority.

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