Seth Godin vs Malcolm Gladwell


I am a fan on Seth Godin’s writing … and … I am a fan of Malcolm Gladwell’s writing … but …

Seth Godin vs Malcolm Gladwell

… they are very different!

Off course they look strikingly different, Seth Godin with his clean shave head and Malcolm Gladwell with his bushy hair. But, if you look deep you will see similarities. Both have sharp features and penetrating eye.

Similarly, their writing always focused and conveys a clear idea. For example:

Seth Godin:

  • Purple Cow = Transform your business by being remarkable
  • The Dip = When to quit and when to stick
  • Tribes = We need you to lead us
  • Linchpin = Are you indispensable?

Malcolm Gladwell:

  • The Tipping Point = How little things can make a big difference
  • Blink = The power of thinking without thinking
  • Outliers = The story of success
  • David and Goliath = Underdogs, misfits and art of battling giants

You may not agree with them, you may question the data, you may doubt the rigor of the research but argument is always compelling!

The Difference

Seth Godin is all about brevity. He can convey his idea in few sentences. He normally starts with a metaphor then quickly and  powerfully make his point.

On the other hand, Malcolm Gladwell will start with multiple stories, each story with its own human angle. Every story would be so very interesting. Finally, he will draw the key lesson from the stories and make his point.

The difference can probably be attributed to their profession.

Seth Godin is a marketeer. The message is always short and impact-full.

Malcolm Gladwell is a journalist. It is always about the story and the emotion.

[BTW: For the Bengali readers … whenever I use the word “metaphor” I always think of the movie Hemlock Society by Srijit Mukherji]

So, what is your style of writing?

Would you like to emulate Seth Godin and express your idea with a strong punch in few short sentences

… or …

would you like to emulate Malcolm Gladwell and weave a story to mesmerizer the reader to convey your idea?

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