Will You Be Seth Godin’s Apprentice?

Will You Be Seth Godin’s Apprentice?

Reader Comments (40)

  1. Isn’t Seth’s opportunity a bit elitist? (Unless of course he only wants people from the NYC metro area?)

    I mean who can afford (without loans) to pack up and live in White Plains or Yonkers and work for free. Kids with money. Bless them, but most of us aren’t them.

    I love Seth but given the really really short timeline, it seems like he’s figured out a way to get some free help for something specific that he needs done. Granted, the people he’ll get will learn a lot but I can’t imagine the group being very diverse.

  2. I’m definitely going to take the opportunity and apply. Thanks for helping spread this, I posted it up on my own blog the moment I saw it.

    As for elitist, I don’t think so. It’s quite open in what he is asking for and while the “kids with money” stereotype might be what you expect, that’s not necessarily what Seth will pick or who will even apply. Yes you are going to get people who have the ability to pick up and move for six months and that knocks out people who have commitments to an existing job, family, etc. but that doesn’t qualify as elitist.

    And having lived in NYC, you can get to where Seth lives if you can get to Grand Central, meaning you can live any number of places which are perhaps more affordable than White Plains or Yonkers (not that NYC is by any means easily affordable).

  3. @carl: but he’s not paying you. so it knocks out anyone without 6 months of savings to live on. i trust seth to pick amazing people. i just wonder who he’s going to get. loans, grants, and financial aid even the playing field at the Stanfords and Whartons of the world. Seth doesn’t have that going for him.

    @sonia: this doesn’t seem to be an internship. an mba definitely isn’t an internship. look at the type of people he’s looking for: people with skills looking to apply them and learn at the same time. an internship is more about giving someone without refined skills the ability to learn and build connections.

  4. btw, the last thing i want to do is hijack this thread with negativity!

    this seems like an awesome awesome opportunity for some lucky people with the flexibility to do it.

  5. Thanks Alex, for that last post, cause we almost got hijacked. And thanks Jon for the kind post.

    The thing is, the applications aren’t all from NY and there isn’t a Rockefeller in the pile. And unlike Harvard, the Kennedys and the Bushes don’t get a free alumni pass.

    I confess to being an elitist if we define elite as:

    • wicked smart
    • in a hurry
    • willing to think big
    • unwilling to settle

    It’s going to be fun. I could certainly get more work in less time for less cost by doing the traditional thing and hiring people. But if I had done that, the side effect of teaching and learning and change would be lost. And that’s the purpose.

  6. Interesting.

    I wanted to do the same in New Zealand. Except that it was for three months, and it would be even more ‘elitist’, because you’d actually have to travel a long way to meet sheep, and more sheep (about 44 million of them).

  7. I would love to apply. However, I gotta make money.

    I was thinking about the “elitist” comment. And to me this seems to refer to the fact that people are not going to be paid even a nominal wage to defer living expenses at a time when the nation is in a recession…and a recession that is , by all accounts, going to last for some duration. Therefore only those with a healthy financial support system will be able to apply for this amazing opportunity.

    This sounds like its going to be a great experience. I’m sure that many applications have been delivered. I’m also sure it will be a great experience for the people who are chosen.

  8. Thanks for sharing this and referring to it on Twitter.

    It would be fun track the intern’s experiences, a year or 18 months after the internship ends.

    Unless you end up licking stamps, which I doubt will happen, the intern will be gaining more one-on-one face time with a genuine expert, than if he paid X amount of money for a semester at a leading business school.

    Plus, the information he’d gain would be far more relevant for today’s world.


  9. When I started working in ‘real jobs’ after university, for a few good years I earned minimum wage and worked very long hours. I considered it my real professional education and as such, the low pay was instead of me having to pay for the tuition. I believe that an opportunity like the one offered by Seth, the experience, the knowledge one can absorb and then offer as an employee is immense and definitely worthwhile, even from the financial perspective.

  10. If you are ready to make a big change in your life – right now –
    this is a dream come true. Everything else will fall in place.

    triiibe on!
    lead or be led

  11. I forwarded this opportunity to one person I know. A wickedly smart, willing to think big, unwilling to settle individual.
    I only wish I’d had an opportunity like this 20 years ago. It might have shortened my path to changing the world, maybe not.
    I might have had opportunities like this and missed them, or as opportunities came along I was just ready to go for it . . . and have done it. . . . whatever this is.
    In our own business, I find the mentorship of others who work “with” me to be one of the most rewarding parts of the job. I pay them, and coach them.
    Now, half a dozen of them have their own small business on the side . . . work that engages and delights them.
    I’m glad I could help nourish those seeds of delight. These “partners” didn’t have to volunteer to get that experience. I feel super happy that we’ve been able to use their skills and foster semi-independant business growth for them as they get better and better at their craft.

    It is indeed unfortunate that the selected apprentice will not earn any money and will need to look after their needs and so to call it elitist might not be quite the right phrase. But the individual will certainly have to be well off in order to take advantage of Seth’s offer.

    well off
    able to travel

    Elitist…. let’s turn to a dictionary or two:
    certain persons or members of certain classes or groups get favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources.

    Sorry Seth, by not paying a person who will undoubtedly be a great asset, and arrive to your office with talent, ability, passion, I think I have to agree with Alex. There might be some judgement associated with the word, but I can’t think of a better alternative.

    Why not pay them? Are you trying to ensure they are coming for the right reasons? Can’t you afford to pay them? Are you placing that much value on your offer that in fact not paying them is equated with charging the winning candidate what amounts to the cost of a traditional mba?

    Why not ditch the whole idea of an apprentice and spend the precious time with the staff who already contribute in a big way to your brand!

    Aren’t some of them ready to change the world? or are you afraid of losing them?

  12. Elitist or not it’s a great idea and shall be an amazing opportunity for whoever gets picked for the apprenticeship of sorts.

    It’s also disappointing for someone like me who would love to get involved and do something like this, but it would be a bit impossible from me to get from Cape Town, South Africa to New York for a screening test and then if you are actually picked to go back again. The fairest route would be to have a conference call on Skype with Seth himself.

    Think its brilliant, look how much conversation he has started and how quickly this has spread on the net and I’m sure “normal” media shall pick it up soon. The power of social media strikes again!

    I’m already jealous of whoever gets in. I’m going to apply anyway, how can it hurt?

  13. there are dreamers and there are do-ers…. there are more people who “wish” than “create”….. I bet Seth finds people who will be creators. Great Biz-minds….do not all think alike…but they do work hard and make things happen in the present.

    it is not elitist – on the contrary – it is leveling… the field is – you figure it out and make it happen or you don’t play.

  14. Isn’t it funny how people come up with 1,000 reasons why they can’t do something, when all they need is one reason why they can?

    Here’s my perspective: if this is you, then apply, regardless of whether it seems possible. If you get accepted, you can work the rest out.

    When confronted with the opportunity of a lifetime, you don’t argue with it and say it’s unfair. You do it. End of story.

  15. An offer like this is a gift. It is an opening, an opportunity. Its simply not right for everyone who cannot capitalize on it to criticize it. It’s an opportunity to one, an offer freely given to give someone a hand up, an opportunity to transcend thru a lot of hard work and sacrifice. Which, if you ask me sounds a lot like life. Sure there is luck and timing involved, there always is. Or maybe there is a loan involved, when there is a will, there is a way. To those willing to drop what they are doing and go for it, I applaud them. To those belly aching about elitism blah blah blah, shame on you.

    “Every set back is an opportunity if you look at it right.”

    Sadly, I can’t remember offhand who said this quote, but alas, I must run out the door right now so till I can fix that. Signing out.


  16. Seth, I love that picture of the “World’s Most Famous MBA” with everyone’s favorite American president on your Squidoo lens.

    If I was still living in the U.S. I would jump at this opportunity.

    Thanks for the inspiration as always Brian.

  17. If I were to submit an application (that DID give credit for cleverness) I would submit this:

    This morning, dreams of The Big Moo from a Purple Cow awoke me. Went to the bathroom to pee. Small is the New Big I thought. Yeah, All Marketers are Liars my other voice replied. Took The Dip in the shower, dressed, then went to the kitchen. Survival Is Not Enough. A man must eat, so I sat down and had a Meatball Sundae and some cereal. Look at this, a Free Prize Inside. It’s The Big Red Fez. I’ll wear this when I write to help in Releasing The Idea Virus. Spouse’s Permission Marketing needed before she lets me go to the Godin interview wearing this hat.

  18. I almost applied. Almost.

    I have to agree with anyone who says elitist or not, this is a great opportunity. I also have to agree with anyone who says that it’s easy to find 1000 reasons why not to do something than 1 to do it.

    I read the rules and was fine with them. I actually smoke and, once I read you couldn’t smoke I thought “fine, I’ll quit, this is a good enough reason”.

    But I’m in Uruguay and even though I’m willing to move around, leave my boyfriend and family behind for a few months and seize the opportunity of a lifetime, I have no way of paying the plane ticket to the interview (if I were to be selected – which I think could happen).

    Now I understand why lotteries make so much money during recession! Good luck to all of those who applied!

  19. Hehe, once again, Seth Godin proves that he’s a genius. I won’t be applying (for a variety of reasons), but it’s good to know that someone is going to be rewarded. 🙂

  20. Seth – Great move! I hope you really find a diamond in the rough.

    I think that this is an excellent opportunity for somebody to make it big (think Donald Trump’s Apprentice ).

    Pretty much would solidify the marketing career of a future somebody.


  21. People on Triiibes (Seth’s social network) are coming up with all sorts of creative ways to fund their experience, should they be accepted. Not a trust fund baby in the lot. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

  22. I think what this really is is a test – that its fake and he’s trying trying to prove everything he teaches. Wouldn’t that be funny.

    Seriously though, I do think it is a once in a life opportunity BUT go to NY to work for 6 months and not get paid? Umm, I think being “the best marketing author who’s sold 10 books” can afford to paid at least $12 an hour, I mean be realistic, people need cash for food and shelter!

    People who can find ways will apply and actually do this. Good for them. But something in my gut tells me there’s more to this that Mr. Godin isn’t telling us and that he is just taking advantage of people who are in a “dip” and want change.

  23. BTW, I think it’s funny he is looking for someone who is well-planned and organized, and at the last minute he unleashes this publicity stunt and gives applicants 10 days. Geez.

  24. Elitist..elitist.. let’s throw a word out there that absolves us from seizing responsibility for whether or not we make an internship with Seth Godin happen. Let’s fault the terms of the game as justification for not even playing.

    Can you make something worthwhile happen?

    Decide that you want it, or not, apply if you do, decide that you will do what it takes to not starve if he chooses you. Because you will.

    I also don’t want to get negative, but really, saying that only certain people could possibly consider themselves as candidates for this opportunity is the kind of defeatism that Seth probably has no interest in anyway.

  25. It is such a shame I don’t live in the vicinity of Seth (or at least on the same continent). I would love to apply for this kind of experience.

  26. I took on an apprentice role as a carpenter years ago, just before I went into the home building business. The builder that took me under his wing was a genius when it came to making money in the housing business. I retired 20 years to the day from when I first met my mentor. His guidance put me on the path to success and I never looked back.

    I hope whoever Mr. Godin selects, inhales everything Seth has to offer and becomes as successful as Brian Clark. It will definitely be an experience of a lifetime.

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