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When it comes to talking marketing, there is perhaps no bigger living giant than Seth Godin.

So in 2015, when he began his altMBA online leadership and management workshop, of course, I was intrigued.

Moreso, when it turns out that the course boasts a 96% completion rate.

(The average completion rate for an online course is a shocking 4%.)

So what is the alt-MBA, and is it worth the time and investment?

1. Introducing: the “altMBA”

the “altMBA”

In 2015, the entrepreneur and bestselling author Seth Godin founded the altMBA as a way to disrupt and challenge teaching methods.

Rather than a theory-heavy MBA, the altMBA is a 4-week intensive online workshop that challenges people to think creatively, create engaging work, and engage with their cohort.

A fully digital experience, the altMBA takes advantage of a plethora of tools from Slack to Discourse and Zoom in order to be able to bring a group of students together in real-time.

Since its inception, the altMBA has taught students from 74+ countries, over 1000 cities, and over 3000 students.

1.1. Who is Seth Godin?

Seth Godin

Seth Godin is a public speaker, best-selling author, and serial entrepreneur.

He’s the author of 19 best-selling books and has been described as the King of Marketing.

Godin is also the founder of Squidoo, and Yoyodyne, which was acquired by Yahoo!

In 2013, Seth was inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame, and in May 2018, he was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame.

1.2. Cost of the course

The cost of the altMBA is pretty steep - remember that this is a four-week course.

2020 tuition fees are currently $4450.

However, one of the major selling points is that (in part thanks to Godin’s reputation), many companies will pay for their employees to go through the course, and the altMBA offer tips on how to get reimbursed for your learning.

2. Learning structure

Learning Structure

The focus of the altMBA is on learning-by-doing, so 75% of your time will involve you producing work.

Over the four weeks, there are 13 assigned projects (3 x week) and a final end of the training project.

These assignments are a mix of group work and individual projects, designed to show you how to ship a project, manage criticism and feedback, before being published on the community page.

The workshop sessions are facilitated by trained coaches who assist with both individual and group work.

There is usually one coach for every ten students, which allows for a hands-on and highly interactive process.

The other students are professionals and freelancers, so the course is designed to fit around a busy schedule while still providing a realistic challenge.

3. Overview


3.1. Who is this course for?

The course is designed for experienced professionals or freelancers who have a wealth of work experience - typically from 5-8 years.

The aim is to assist people in considering work from conceptual, artistic, creative, and sellable angles.

Alumni have gone on to work in major companies such as Nike, Kickstarter, Google, and Coca-Cola.

3.2. What is the application process?

Admission to the altMBA is through a structured online application.

The structure of the application has been well thought out and has evolved as the workshop has evolved.

An interview with the Director of altMBA, Wes Kao breaks down the thought processes behind the early application - the present application is 3 questions and should take you about 20 minutes.

As the course is taught entirely in English, the only requirement is that you have to be confident in English.

4. Evaluation



  • The process of the altMBA will have you working with up to date tools in no-time, and the fact that it’s remote means it’s a great option for the current state of the world
  • The altMBA is fiercely proud of its diversity, and rightly so - this is a fantastic way to see how other people around the world think and work
  • The content prompts, as well as the stages for building and shipping a concept helps you provide valuable work
  • The speed with which you have to produce work means that you can’t get stuck in a perfectionist mindset, or too self-involved in your work


  • While this is Seth Godin’s course, he is not the instructor and will not be teaching you. Some people have found their workshop facilitators less inspiring than the man himself.
  • As there is no specific requirement for the course, you will find yourself with a group of people who may not have matching priorities - some will be working to be entrepreneurs, but others will be looking at it more as a side-hustle
  • The cohort is particularly driven by being focused on Godin - everybody you interact with is there because of the draw of his name. While people might have diverse backgrounds, you may find it hard to disagree with people.

5. Is the altMBA worth it?

Worth it?

If you’re a fan of Godin, the opportunity to get involved in a workshop like this and become a Godin graduate may be too good an opportunity to pass up.

There’s also no denying that graduates of the program have gone on to work for prestigious and exciting businesses.

That being said, the cost of the course is going to be deeply prohibitive for some people - especially as you don’t come out with a recognized certification or qualification.

If you can convince your employer to reimburse the tuition fees or sponsor your participation in the program, then there’s absolutely no reason not to take part.

However, if you’re paying out of pocket for the opportunity, you may want to explore some of your other options.

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