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Seth Godin has written 18 bestsellers that have been translated into 35 languages

The complete list of online retailers

Bonus stuff!

or click on a title below to see the list


An intensive, 4-week online workshop designed to accelerate leaders to become change agents for the future. Designed by Seth Godin, for you.



All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing




Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow





An instant bestseller, the book that brings all of Seth's ideas together.




Meatball Sundae

Why the internet works (and doesn't) for your business. And vice versa.



Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.



Poke The Box

The latest book, Poke The Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.




Purple Cow

The worldwide bestseller. Essential reading about remarkable products and services.



Small is the New Big

A long book filled with short pieces from Fast Company and the blog. Guaranteed to make you think.



Survival is Not Enough

Seth's worst seller and personal favorite. Change. How it works (and doesn't).




The Big Moo

All for charity. Includes original work from Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters and Promise Phelon.



The Big Red Fez

Top 5 Amazon ebestseller for a year. All about web sites that work.




The Dip

A short book about quitting and being the best in the world. It's about life, not just marketing.




The Icarus Deception

Seth's most personal book, a look at the end of the industrial economy and what happens next.





"Book of the year," a perennial bestseller about leading, connecting and creating movements.




Unleashing the Ideavirus

More than 3,000,000 copies downloaded, perhaps the most important book to read about creating ideas that spread.



V Is For Vulnerable

A short, illustrated, kids-like book that takes the last chapter of Icarus and turns it into something worth sharing.




We Are All Weird

The end of mass and how you can succeed by delighting a niche.



Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

The sequel to Small is the New Big. More than 600 pages of the best of Seth's blog.



THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin

All Marketers Are Liars Blog

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Member since 08/2003

« July 2003 | Main | September 2003 »

Purple Cows Gone Bad

Just because it's different, doesn't mean it's good. Something can be remarkably bad and not succeed in any way. Just a head's up. Goldin Pickle Juice - The Review

I drink a lot of tea

Herbal tea, in fact. Tons of different kinds. It occured to me that on the side of almost every package of tea, it gives you the recipe. The recipe for how to make a cup of tea.

Is there anyone who doesn't know how to make tea? Among the group of non-knowers, do they think to look for a recipe on the box? If it's not there, do they look it up in a cookbook?

On the other hand, I was dishing out some Marshmallow Fluff yesterday (this is a GREAT product) and I saw the recipe for a Fluffernutter on the back. What did that invention net them? Do you think you could invent a new use for your product?

In case you need help with tea, here you go: Lipton Tea

Wiki, blogs, weak ties and what you need to know right now

Clueless marketers are feeling a little of the "blog buzz" (maybe because some folks think that's how Howard Dean got 10,000 people to a rally last night). They want to know how to use the medium to sell more stuff.

I don't think that's the right approach.

Joi Ito pointed me to Epeus' epigone - Kevin Marks weblog. I commend you to read it, then, if you don't understand everything he's going on about, take a few minutes to look up the missing pieces on Google.

It's a pretty subtle thing that's going on here, but it is very much going on.

At least they're not Procrastinators

I'm fascinated by Meetup, but I just want to say that this link is for a meeting that's telegraphing a punchline: International Anarchy Meetup Day.

Borscht belt jokes aside (do the anti-social people have a meetup as well?) Scott's insight about the power of viral marketing is astonishing. Meetup is growing faster every day, fueled by the tell-a-friend motive that is 100% based on selfish needs. In other words, people tell other people because it's good for THEM, not for meetup.

Is there a business out there that can't learn from their success? Don't think so. (Is there a naysayers meetup?...)

PS rereading this, it occurs to me that my anarchist readers will be annoyed with me for not realizing that anarchy is a valid political movement, and that anarchists are quite entitled to organize meetings. Gotcha.

Word on the street

You can read all about the results of my, What Should Google Do? challenge by clicking on the link, it'll take you to the PDF. Hey, it's free, and you can share it.

Thanks to everyone who contributed. You can read more about it at the new Fast Company Now blog.

Purple Cows keep showing up

Two just arrived.


The first is from Steve Ruskin, "I'm the one on the right."

Purple Cow neon.jpg

The second is a piece of art from artist Leland Johnson. You can find the book

Viral Subtitles

Brian Peddle sent me this neat riff on the old "find a caption" viral cartoons. Fanta Shokata.

It's not everyday

That I find a site I like, much less a designer's site. Hence, it's with great excitement that I commend you to: MANOVERBOARD. Web & Print Design and Consulting..

It's got permission elements, viral elements, good taste, smart design and more. Nice.


I had heard about "Google Answers", but I confess that I thought it was a dead end gimmick.

It's not. It's amazing.

Check out this example: Google Answers: manufacturers of superballs (high bounce rubber balls)

The thoroughness and reliability of the answers I looked at belied the astonishing (under $200) price that was being charged.

One last factoid: They didn't drink Kool Aid at Jonestown. It was FlavorAid. I feel sorry for the guys at General Foods who had to live with the brand besmirchment!

Thanks to Dave Winer for the obtuse reference that started me down the road.

Beware This New Spam

The latest spam making the rounds might come from PayPal or even your bank.

It requires you to click on a link and go to a web page to read a security message or new terms and conditions.

But to get to the page, you need to type in some identifying data. Of course, that's the scam. It's not really the bank. It's an identity thief, just waiting to steal from you.


David Byrne on PowerPoint!

Actually, it's probably better said, "David Byrne IN PowerPoint."

The second breakthrough title on Powerpoint. I just ordered my copy. E.E.E.I. (Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information)
. The first, of course, was
Really Bad Powerpoint
. Still the #1 bestseller on the ebook charts, even though the hoi polloi keep giving it lousy reviews.

Information is where you find it

Not data, but real live information you can actually use. Check out this very cool way to track what's hot (and what's not) on eBay. eBay market research software: DeepAnalysis. Information and statistics
about sales on eBay.

I keep coming back to Cool News

Maybe because it keeps showing up in my ebox every day!

Tim Manners produces the smartest marketing newsletter I know. Every day or two I find a story I love. He was profiled in 99 Cows, but I thought I'd mention it again. Click here for more details: reveries - marketing insights and ideas

From my friend Marcia, a little Zen

The Master in the art of living
makes little distinction between
work and play,
labor and leisure,
mind and body,
education and recreation,
love and religion.
You hardly know which is which.
You simply pursue your vision of
excellence in whatever you do,
leaving others to decide whether
you are working or playing.
To you, it is always both.

No room left

The September seminar in my office (the last currently scheduled) has just sold out. Thanks to all who are coming... it should be a lot of fun.

(no, that's not me. I'm cuter.)

So much for branding

Here's an absolutely great article. Elevator pitches that don't work. They took 17 big companies, scrambled up their one line elevator pitches and tried them out on 350 smart marketers. The goal was simple. Match the pitch the to company. eBay, of course, is "To help practically anyone buy and sell practically anything". But which company, precisely, is "Continued investments in IT result in measurable productivity gains."

I don't think the point is that these companies need a better elevator pitch (the product offering is probably too broad.) The point, from where I stand, is that EXPECTING your ads to communicate ideas this complicated in a sentence or two is ridiculous. One more reason ads don't work for complex offerings.

Best summary yet of Purple Cow

In an airline magazine!

It's easy to be mean

New trend in business journalism: muckraking, innuendo, schadenfreude, snide remarks and cynicism.

From today's New York Times (Fast Company takes a senseless beating, including plenty of editorial opinion from the writer) to most of the leading business magazines, we're seeing exactly the same thing. The search for the scoop. The rush to demonstrate journalistic chops by refusing to accept anything at face value. The division of the world into good and bad, mostly bad.

The thing is, this is lazy journalism. It's lazy to take potshots at the head of a car company or to search for yet another one of Martha Stewart's bad habits. The reason it's lazy is simple: if you get your facts even close to right, the reader is with you all the way. It's easy to persuade people to be negative, easy to get them to pay attention to gossip, easy to defend yourself as a crusading journalist.

This, of course, is the same sort of laziness that led the very same magazines and papers to overdose on the hype just three years ago. Those stories were effervescent and glowing, but they involved just as little real understanding as today's "exposes" do.

Do you know what's hard? It's hard to be inspirational. It's hard to really understand the lessons (positive and negative) in a story and present them in a way that actually persuades, not just titillates.

Are you ready to rush out the newsstand to buy a magazine that shows us, once and for all, how some Boston real estate was insanely overpriced or how Larry Ellison isn't actually as smart as this very same magazine told you he was two years ago? I'm not.

I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for an article that actually educates, or even better, inspires. Inspires me to do more, try harder, dig deeper, be more positive and persist longer. C'mon guys, I implore my colleagues, don't be so lazy. We deserve better.

[go ahead and forward this article to your favorite magazine! Here are some email addresses:
Business Week

So, who is Laci?

Every once in a while, the Net is magically clairvoyant. Take a look at CorporateAlumni for today's example. This is a site that knows way too much about all the places you used to work, and who worked there with you. I did a search for "yoyodyne" and found names I had already forgotten.

But what's the deal with Laci?

It says she was on my board, but gosh darn it, I don't remember ever arguing with her or having her threaten to fire me or cut off my financing...

Anyway, a tip of the hat to Heath Row's new blog, Fast Company Now for the lead. It's only been up a day, and it's great.

Talking to ourselves Too much

Too much blogging is about the blogger listening to himself rant. You won't find that with Debbie Weil.

Debbie actually has a purpose... she's collecting data and links and advice about using blogs for business. She also writes about copywriting. No reports on her cats, the weather or her mood, though. Worth a look. Blue walnuts, indeed.

The big difference between marketing a product and a candidate

Is not what you might think. Rolling out John Kerry or Howard Dean is a lot like any other big money product launch. No doubt the marketers will spend way too much money on TV, and no doubt the real impact (especially early on) comes not from blatant interruption but from ideaviruses that spread...

So the difference?

The difference is that coming in second in detergent or coffee is just fine if your overhead is appropriately small. Coming in second in politics is worthless.

I've been reading all the fawning Dean media hype with a bit of a smile. After all, it's classic Purple Cow thinking. But in politics, of course, being a Purple Cow doesn't mean you're going to win. Which is good, otherwise we'd have peanut farmers, former actors and folks who aren't smart enough to accept scientific facts and rational arguments running the country. Oops. You know what I mean.

I mean that being remarkable doesn't always mean you will capture the majority. It might mean you come in second. If you're a non-political marketer, I beg you to embrace your purpleness and TRY to come in second. Being safe is a bad idea.

If, on the other hand, you are Howard Dean, I have no idea what you should do. The word has spread among the sneezers and opinion leaders who care. Now, how do you leap the chasm to get to everyone else? I have no idea. Remember, awareness does not equal sales. It is necessary, but not sufficient.

As long as we're talking about Google...

Check this out. Google News Alerts. Thanks to Burton Bruggeman for the tip.

It appears that like the weather, everyone loves to talk about Google. I've received some amazingly good ideas for my, "What Should Google Do?" ebook. But the public is insatiable. Don't hesitate! Send yours in. You'll get full credit, of course.

What should Google do now?

So, aside from being the official poster child for discussions about the web, marketing or business models (I challenge you to find a pundit, including me, who can resist mentioning Google for ten pages in a row...), it's also a business.

The question isn't whether Google is a good idea, a good business or even something to be jealous about. The question is: Given their position, what do they do now? Can they compound their influence and growth and mission? Or will they lose their nerve and stick with what they've got...

Tell me what you'd do if you ran Google. Would you buy someone? Spin off something? Launch new services? I'll turn it into a free ebook if the responses are any good.

Please keep your comments short and pithy.

[Here's the final ebook: Download Googledo ]

Thomas Dolby is a genius

And if you've ever been interrupted by a cell phone at the opera, check out what the new tech cell phones will have on them.Retro RingTones - Welcome

A long time ago...

I knew a guy named Derek Scruggs. He was smart then and he's smart now. He's an email marketing consultant (something I don't have the intestinal fortitude to attempt) and while I've not used his services, his site makes a lot of sense. Escalan - Integerated direct marketing services to acquire and retain customers

« July 2003 | Main | September 2003 »