Seth Godin: The Song of Significance
Syndicated from, Jul 31, 2023

3 minute read


The text in italics below are quotes by Seth Godin excerpted from an interview between Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin on The Tim Ferriss Show. You can listen to their full conversation or read the transcript here.

"A typical feral beehive at the end of a long winter, will have barely made it through. That’s what the honey’s for, to supply them with food during the course of the winter. But if they made it, the council of maidens will meet. They’re the ones who really run the hive, and they will do a couple things. The first thing they will do is build a vertical egg chamber and instruct the queen to lay and fertilize a queen egg, which is very unusual because there’s only one queen in a hive. And the second thing they will do is tell the rest of the maidens to go get as much pollen as they possibly can and replenish the honey supply. This happens in May and June in the Northern Hemisphere. [...]

And then based on the weather, because they know what the weather is going to be, they’re very good at this, they will organize without an organizer, leave without a leader. 12,000 bees will leave the hive in a 10-minute period of time. They will leap out of the hive singing the song of increase. And Jacqueline has written beautifully about this. And then they end up in a tree 100 yards away, in a tight ball, because bees have to maintain a body temperature of 98 degrees or else they fall apart. They get into a torpor.

And now they only have three days to find a new place to live. And each one of the bees is doing what the bee does. Almost every bee, except for the queen, is only three weeks old, which I didn’t know. I thought bees lived a really long time. And so the scout bees are doing their scouting and the maidens are doing their — and each bee is doing their thing. But the hive is basically a human brain inside out. There are neurons all working in sync to create this leap forward." 

Godin was mesmerized by the implications of this for humans-- before realizing humans aren't bees---

 "We’re looking for something with even more internal meaning than simply this leap forward."

On an early morning swim the next morning he was caught in a riptide and---

 "came as close to drowning as it is possible for a person to come. And as it happened, I was pretty okay with the fact that that was the end of that. I would miss my family. I would miss so many things. But it was like, “Well, if that’s the end of that, that’s the end of that.” And then this mission of talking about significance just flooded over me and I somehow figured out how to get back to shore. And then the next day I heard from Dan and his daughter Frankie had passed away. And the combination of all those things helped me realize that the world probably doesn’t need another marketing book from me, but probably could benefit from thinking about all of those things at once and realizing that we have so much more power than we want to acknowledge.


You can read or listen to the interview in its entirety here.


Excerpted from The Tim Ferriss Show. Tim Ferriss has been listed as one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Business People” and one of Fortune’s “40 under 40.” He is an early-stage technology investor/advisor (Uber, Facebook, Shopify, Duolingo, Alibaba, and 50+ others) and the author of five #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, including The 4-Hour Workweek and Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers. The Observer and other media have called Tim “the Oprah of audio” due to the influence of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast, which is the first business/interview podcast to exceed 100 million downloads. It has now exceeded 900 million downloads.