I love Seth Godin. He is concise and frank.
He asks "Who is your customer?" and demonstrates it's not always the people who end up using your product.
Your customer is the one group of people that you most need to keep happy. Picking the wrong customer can be devastating for your business.
He lists several examples, however the big "a-ha" moment for me was his example from Columbia Records.
Columbia caters to musicians and program directors at radio stations, and virtually ignored the people who buy music. In the old days they had to sign the biggest acts, then get the radio stations to play them. Customers would then herd themselves into record stores.
Suddenly, music listeners decided they wanted digital music instead of CDs. They also decided they would rather find new music than be told what to buy. Lastly, they love sharing music. Sharing wasn't about piracy, it was about shared experiences.
Columbia Records and the other members of the RIAA have not yet figured out that music listeners are not the enemy, they are the market setters.
Seth doesn't go into much detail about Columbia Records, except to say that they don't know their customers at all.
Here's the full post to see what he says about Zappos, Nike, Columbia Records, Apple and more.