Seth Godin on Commission

Image representing Seth Godin as depicted in C...

So I was going through my normal hundreds of morning emails and although I generally breeze through Seth Godin's posts (I've found them to be the equivalent of Tweets, short, uninformed, the internet equivalent of a sound bite without substance) this particular post made me pause:

Everyone gets paid on commission

Beyond the fact that it's about 5 lines long I have a number of issues with what Seth is proposing here:

  1. Being paid on commission implies that every function is customer facing. In any company there are support, infrastructure and secondary functions which make an organization actually work. How would you propose calculating their commission. Generally Seth, these are referred to as bonuses.
  2. Not every post, article or piece of news media is directly measurable. Example: Sunday Morning Political Talk Shows, they have a very low directly measurable audience. However their influence through syndication, media discussion is substantial. Should these shows and their hosts be measured on commission?
  3. Doing great work does not neccessarily mean that there is a definable B2C conversion rate attached to it. You often mention branding, customer loyalty and the like in your books and blog. Now you seem to contradict yourself by saying every action must have a measurable conversion to a sale.
  4. In the world of journalism it isn't always about appealing to public appetite. In fact it is about the media informing the public, in your world I would predict that many journalists would simply write what is convenient to increase rating (or traffic).

Those are a few of my reasons that Seth Godin is way off base here. Seth, take a couple of hours off and watch Glen Gary Glen Ross then think about your post, your position and the fairly shallow insight you provided. Is that thought leadership?

Unless of course you meant bonuses and incentives rather than commission.

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