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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


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

« November 2003 | Main | January 2004 »

Christmas Card Spam

Call me scrooge if you want to, but I can't help but notice a new trend. Call it Christmas Card Spam.

Christmas cards used to be handwritten and thoughtful. They took a lot of time and were thus sent just to people who actually wanted to receive them.

Then the professional printers stepped in and Christmas cards became a bulk item. Businesses get them by the hundreds. Even ordinary folk can count on dozens of cards every year. You might not wanted to get a Christmas card from your Xerox machine service guy, but hey, it only took a second to chuck it. More important, the cost of the card and the stamp made it prohibitively expensive for the Xerox guy to send 1,000 or 4,000 cards.

Today, thanks to the zero-cost nature of email, the equation has been completely reversed. The cost to the sender of a card is essentially zero. The cost to the recipient, however, is significant. This stupid snowman card (who, exactly, is Telemak and why are they writing to me?) took about 20 seconds to receive via my DSL connection. Watching my email take five or six minutes is enough to induce Dickensian feelings, for sure. Telemak must have sent 10,000 cards... costing the recipients about 50 hours of download time.

So, one more treasured tradition trashed by new media.

Happy Holidays!

Pope on!

This is what permission marketing gone wireless looks like:
BBC NEWS | Technology | Papal message goes mobile

2 new seminars!

Write down the dates (or not, because, of course, you can always look them up here...)

January 8--for non profits
January 28--for everyone

You can see some testimonials about my seminars here:
Purple Cow by Seth Godin: Workshops

I don't do consulting, and there's no sales pitch here--I've got nothing more to sell you. The goal of the seminar is to put you in a room with like-minded people and to really push to create practical breakthroughs that you can turn into action.

The seminars have the following structure:
10 to 12:30--I summarize my thinking on how ideas spread, on permission and on Purple Cows.
During lunch, we do a lot of one on one interactions
1:15 to 3--We take turns reviewing your website, your mission, your marketing message, etc. No holds barred. Really and truly.
3 to 4:30--I talk about my new book (out in May) and we go even deeper into your particular issues.

The goal is that by the end you've got the same tools I do, so you can analyze your own organization without my help.

At the first seminar, on the 8th of January, I'll be running a non-profits only seminar in my office in Dobbs Ferry, NY (about 40 minutes from NYC). This seminar is free and there are only 33 seats available. If you run or have a great deal of influence at a non-profit organization, I'm inviting you to come spend the day in my loft. Because it's free, you sort of need to apply by sending me a note. Write to and use the word TRANSFORM in your subject line. Click here for mail. Tell me what you do and how this might help you. I apologize in advance if I can't fit in everyone. It's nothing personal!

At the second seminar, on the 28th of January, we'll also convene in my office. This event costs $1,000. You can bring a co-worker at no charge. There's a 100% money back guarantee... if you don't think it was worth it, just ask and I'll refund your money. (This is have never happened before, by the way). If you'd like to come to this one, write to me at and use the word PRACTICAL in your subject line. Click here for mail It'll probably sell out, so you should hurry.

When you write to me, I'll probably send you a link to an infoblog that will answer most of your questions.

This new washer is even colored purple

I'm pleased with the deliberate way that Dyson is systematically reinventing stuff we figured was stuck forever.
Dyson UK - The CRO1 range.

End of the year lists

Ten best this, 99 top that...

Fifteen years ago, I was nominated for an American Film Institute Award for "Best Kid's Entertainment/Game Video". Flew out to California, wore a tux and everything. I was up against Kukla Fran and Ollie (actually it was Sherie Lewis and Lambchop, but you get the idea). The prize was a neat statue, awarded by the two hosts, Gary Coleman and Bruce Jenner.

No I'm not making this up.

They got to my award. The spotlights spun around.

I lost.

To a sock.

I was heartbroken. I swore never to enter anything ever again.

All, a long way to saying that John Moore picked Purple Cow as the best Marketing book of the year.

Makes up for a lot of socks. Fast Company Now

Coming up for air

Just finished a book and produced a play (the 4th grade musical!). Final performance is Wednesday.

After that, I'm going to post two seminars in January and one in February... first come first served. Keep your eyes peeled.

Thanks for your patience during this output drought.


How to get a Purple job

this just in (names changed):

Mr. Godin,

I am writing to share a “remarkable” Purple Cow success. Several months ago
I was laid off. Although my job search process was very good (i.e. ordinary)
it was not achieving the desired results. After hearing you speak in
Atlanta I realized I needed to create a “Purple Cow." My first step was to choose
the company I wanted to work for and develop a strategy for creating my unique
cow. During the due diligence, I found a blank greeting card that simple
stated “Dare To Be Remarkable.” Bill Wilson was gracious enough to provide me
with a signed copy of your book (as I couldn’t part with mine - you signed it
outside of 103 West), and the process began. I sent the attached letter,
with resume, and a hand written note using the greeting card to my potential

Within a week, the first phone interview. At this time he hadn’t read “
Purple Cow” but appreciated the creative approach. During the next interview, we
met face to face. His copy of the book had notes everywhere! The entire
interview was predicated on your book. We incorporated our discussion of my
qualifications into our discussion of your remarkable book.

When he called to offer me the job, he shared with me he was having a sales
meeting and there was required reading – he had purchased 25 copies of “Purple

Thanks to your book, I have found a unique way to communicate with others.
In addition, I have developed a highly effective “Purple Cow” elevator speech.

In recapping your book, those on the other side of the desk lean forward as
I describe to them the essence of your remarkable work.

Furthermore, "Purple Cow" is contagious. By my recommendation, my brother
read it and distributed it to his entire management team. A friend read it and
has given at least 8 copies to colleagues and prospects. I have shared my
approach with other friends in the job market, and it is working for them, too.
Through both physical distribution and recommendation of your book it is in
the hands of many top organizations. To name a few: BP Amoco, Gold’s Gym,
Pierre Foods, Maritz, Inc., a former CEO and current Senatorial candidate,
Starbucks, and many more….

Thank you for helping me help others create their own “Purple Cows” and earn
a position with a Global 50 company.


Tom Jacobs

I hesitated to post this, but I figure you'll undestand I did it to inspire, not to take credit! Seth

Been looking for my Fast Company columns?

A little harder to find with the new search engine.

Here are most of them, for free, in one place:
Fast Company | Seth Godin

I had a dream...

...about McDonalds.

In the old days, of course, they were purple. They were remarkable. They were unique.


They offered food that was consistent nationwide, no one else did.
The offered national advertising, no one else did.
They offered a limited menu of wide-appeal food with a high-fat mouth feel aimed at the masses. No one else did.
They offered a quick, low investment eating experience. No one else did.

The point is that the rules keep changing. Today's purple cow is tomorrow's mad cow.

It's hard to stay remarkable. It won't just happen for you. Invest or watch it go away.

I thought about this when I was making a zebra cake from Famous chocolate wafer crackers and cream. Sure, it's a cool retro Proustian dessert. But no way I'd want to be THAT brand manager. The glory days for this product are long, long gone, and no amount of wishing will bring them back. Famous? Not any more.

Disagreeing with myself

...on resolution.

As Ensight - Jeremy C. Wright points out on his blog, my advice is for sites trying to reach the mass market.

Of course, you shouldn't be trying to reach the mass market, should you?

Now, if your niche is, say, poodle lovers, then the advice stands. But if your market is IT folks or active online researchers or Mac users, it's a different story.

In general, if you're trying to reach everyone, you'll reach no one.

If your slice of the market is horizontal relatively to technology, then my initial thought stands.


800 x 600?

A reader writes to ask about my take on screen resolution.

I admit, never having put pen to pixel, that I've actually never thought much about it.

But, if the data that 40% of web browsers use low rez is correct, can there be any discussion? If you want to start a conversation with the mass market, you have to speak in a visual language they can see.

I'm really sorry if that screws up your graphic dream, but this is a working medium, not art.


Forrester Research always wrong. Have you ever noticed that? A few years after just about every pronouncement, it's easy to discover that they just make this stuff up.

Today's quote comes from Carrie Johnson, reported by Saul Hansell in the NY Times:

"Ultimately the Wal-Marts will take over online retail, just as they have in the physical world."

I think it's really easy to undervalue a headstart.

Rikard shared this tool with me...

It times out on occasion, but it's neat, it makes you think and it's a good use of business to business viral thinking as well.

We We Calculator - measure your copy for customer focus

Like Google adwords, but different

As Amazon tries to sell everything to everyone and be a search engine too, this is a step in that direction. Co-op Information/Sign Up

By offering to put the right ads (and the right offers) in front of the right people at the right time, they are starting to use the web in a way that makes it ever more different than retail.

Don's free ebook project

Worth a look:

Weird ideas

Free ebooklet!

Amazon cajoled me into writing a free ebook for them, then they forgot to promote it.


You can get if you click here.

You want "Fixing Micah's Site".

Micah's site, by the way, continues to get better and more effective.

Hope you enjoy it. Happy Thanksgiving!

PS #1, feel free to post or circulate this doc.
PS #2, you can see the latest version of Micah's site at
Who We Are & What We Do - CD/CD-ROM Duplication, Replication, Manufacturing, by Oasis

Are you an enthusiast?

Depending on his area of expertise, an enthusiast cares about the answers to the following questions:

"Paddle shift or stick?"
"SACD or DVD-A?"
"Cherrywood or carbon fiber?"
"Pho Bac or Pho Bang?"
"PowerBook or iBook?"
"Hearthstone or parchment paper?"
"Habenero or chipotle?"
"Linen or organic cotton?"

I'm an ethusiast. As you may have guessed, I am every marketer's dream. I am an enthusiast in not just one, but a bunch of areas. I get magazines with names like The Rosengarten Report and catalogs from Garrett Wade.

Enthusiasts are the ones with otaku. We're the ones who care about what marketers are up to. The ones who seek out new products and new corporations, the ones who go oops, sorry, another enthusiastic topic jumped in there Anyway, we are the ones that will spread the word about your innovation, tell our friends and colleagues about your new Purple Cow.

It's not just consumer goods. Enthusiasts read the Harvard Business Review and get excited about a new consulting firm or a new technique. Enthusiasts read the classifieds at the back of Advertising Age to figure out which ad agencies are doing well. Enthusiasts decide who gets elected President of the United States.

Plenty of marketers have decided that they need to be obsessed with these otaku-filled piggybanks. Some of them have even rented, or better yet, collected lists of the most profitable subsets of these populations. And yet, most of them fail.

I think they fail for the very same reason you often fail in getting the enthusiast in your life the perfect Christmas gift.

Enthusiasts don't want you to hand them a gift certificate. (They'll figure out how to get the money for the thing they really want). Nor do they want you to give them a gift and say, "the man at the store said you'd like this." While you may satisfy our short-term craving for more, you also remind us (the enthusiasts) that you're not on the bus.

Enthusiasts are ENTHUSIASTIC! This means we want to spread the word. It means we want other people to "get it" as well. We want the organizations we buy from to be one of us, to care as much as we do about the experience and the products and the process. We want our friends and fans not just to buy us a stick-shift warmer for the Ferrari, but to research it first, to compare the different warmers, to understand the trade-offs and make the same (obvious) choice that we would.

When you take a chowhound to dinner (that's what cheap but authentic restaurant enthusiasts call themselves), she wants to know that you care as deeply as she does about the choice not that you picked the closest one listed in Zagats. When you make a product designed for a videophile, he wants to know that you've spent as many hours staring at the flat screen as he does.

Visit Steve Deckert's site at Decware and you'll have no doubt that he's one of you (one of us?). It's different than buying from some invisible technology conglomerate. That's one reason it's so easy for little companies like this to do just great with the early adopters with otaku. We buy from him because he's like us. He's an enthusiast too.

So, what should you do if you want to sell to an enthusiast? Or buy a Christmas present for an enthusiast? She's not going to make allowances for low price or great service or kindness. She's going to be picky. She's going to be aware of the tradeoffs. And she's not going to go easy on you. If she did, she wouldn't be an enthusiast, would she?

What you'll need to do, I'm afraid, is become one. If it's important to you to deal with people with otaku, you've got to get some. Sad, but true.


« November 2003 | Main | January 2004 »