Don't Miss a Thing
Free Updates by Email

Enter your email address

preview  |  powered by FeedBlitz

RSS Feeds

Share |

Facebook: Seth's Facebook
Twitter: @thisissethsblog





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

Blog powered by TypePad
Member since 08/2003

« March 2005 | Main | May 2005 »

Coming to an NBA game near you

Actually, coming to Minneapolis this Wednesday (the 13th.)

All the details are here. Please contact them for info, since I'm not able to actually dunk or dribble and have no tattoos.  TIMBERWOLVES: U.S. Bank Speaker Series.

So, go ahead and make the hole square!

File this under, "They just don't get it".

My contact info is pretty easy to find on my site, and as a result I'm getting more and more stuff from PR people. Notice that I'm being really generous and calling it "stuff" instead of "worthless, annoying, time-consuming spam."

The PR folks are used to having to shovel loads and loads of outbound stuff in order to get one or two things picked up. That's the way it works in traditional media.

But tell me, please, which blogger out of the 10,000,000 is going to run a story with this headline (I'm not making this up):


                     THE VENDARE GROUP CHANGES NAME TO VENDARE MEDIA                  

WOW! Now there's something that's interesting and relevant to the people who have a choice about what to read. If your press release is a square peg and all the blogs out there are round holes, that doesn't mean you should flog it anyway.

Many in the flak community are trying to turn blogs into just another media outlet. They're not. Instead, they are a terrific home for the remarkable. Make stuff worth talking about first. Then talk about it.

A surprise from Denmark

One of the very best marketing books of the year comes from the land of LEGO. It's about storytelling. Find out more here: SIGMA.

It's very different from but complementary to the new Liars book, out in May.  Seth Godin - Liar's Blog

Sorry, we're full

Both of my seminars in April are officially full, no room, etc.

Thanks for everyone who's coming... I hope to do another one in a month or two.

REAL--Compared to what? The Pale Imitation

I wasn't there at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1969. I wish I had been.

Eddie Harris and Les McCann walked onto the stage and though they had hardly rehearsed at all, launched into an adlibbed song that made history. Ironically enough, the song contained the line, "Real... compared to what?"

A million copies later, the vinyl souvenir of that live performance was a classic.  Les McCann & Eddie Harris - Swiss Movement: Montreux. The vinyl LP isn't the same as the original concert, but it's convenient and sounds great.

Twenty years later, "perfect sound forever" brought us the CD version. There's no pops and crackles, but to my ears, it's just a reminder of the depth of the LP.

Then they had us move everything to MP3. Now I've got the CD version on my iPod. There are far fewer bits and it doesn't sound as good, but it reminds me of the original. (if "original" means the analog recording, not the live event, where I wasn't.)

Now, I've got a Monster cable for my car that lets me broadcast the MP3 version of the CD version of the vinyl version of the live event over the FM airwaves to my car radio. It sounds like Eddie's in the Holland Tunnel. And it's not even close to music, but it reminds me of the way I felt when I heard the album.

This is not just happening to music. The cellphone conversation I have with my friend Jonathan has content, but the tone and tenor of his voice merely remind  me of the way I feel when I hear him live.

And the millions of digital photos I see online don't look anything like the original high resolution versions, which, of course, look nothing like the thing in real life.

My dad used to tell me a joke. This guy is on a tour of the state prison with the warden. They walk into the lunchroom and see the following:

A prisoner stands up. He says, "142!"

Everyone laughs hysterically.

Another prisoner stands up. He is giggling, but manages to blurt out, "884."

The place rocks with laughter.

The tourist can't figure out what's going on. He asks the warden.

"Well, you see, these guys are all here for life sentences. They've heard every joke a million times. So, instead of retelling the jokes, they just call out the number."

"Wow," the tourist says, "Can I try that?"

The warden is dubious, but says, "sure."

"191," cries the tourist. The place is dead quiet. Like a tomb.

Humiliated, the tourist turns to the warden and asks what he did wrong.

"It's the way you tell it," said the warden with a wry smile.

I wonder what happens when our digital culture has nothing to do but spread pale imitations of the original experiences? I wonder what happens when the media companies that depend on our attention start losing it when all we've got is a ringtone.

I think my books change a lot more minds than my blog does. But books don't spread the way digital ideas do.

At the same time, the good news from sites like JamBase is that they're using inherently low-rez digital media to sell people on showing up to hear the highest-rez live stuff.

Are you in the souvenir business?

No relation between price and quality

In industries under siege from external change (and I count music, books, airlines, pharmaceuticals, IT, telecommunications, etc) you'll find that the extra fees extracted by the legacy companies DO NOT go for quality. They go to prop up the status quo.

That's why CDs cost $18 and why Jet Blue is the best airline in America.

MSNBC - JetBlue ranked as offering best airline service.

more on Daylight Saving Time (dumb cows!)

Ian Daley chimes in with this:

I really enjoyed reading your post on daylight saving. I live in Queensland Australia, and about 15 years ago, we decided by referendum here not to have Daylight Savings. The big problem is that the other two states of Australia on the east coast, NSW and Victoria, both have daylight savings. [Ed. note: There's no "s" in saving. Really. I'll leave it in because, hey, it sounds better.]

At the time the arguments against trolled out were amazing. Bear in mind that QLD is a mostly rural state, but 75% of the population live in the Metropolitan areas of Brisbane and Surfers Paradise. Anyway, here are some of the brilliant ideas that were put forward to stop Daylight Saving.

"It would confuse the cows, they wouldn't know what time to get milked as cows aren't very smart" (please don't laugh at the irony of this.)
"It will fade the curtains. The Queensland sun is very harsh, and an extra hour could really do some damage"
"It would be uncomfortable having dinner at 8 pm and it still being daylight"

The arguments for were:

"Sydney is the business capital of Australia and it has Daylight Savings"
"Co-coordinating differences in flights, phone call rates, meetings and general business between the states will be more difficult without daylight savings than with."
"The Australian population is more transient and having a shifting time difference throughout the year is going to make doing business in Queensland awkward."

As history recalls, the country folk's faded curtains won over the city people's pressing need to do business. 15 years on, whilst we persevere with the time difference, it still causes many problem and I would consider it a major pain in the proverbial. However, since we decided by referendum to not have daylight saving, it would take another very costly referendum to change this.

People definitely get the governments they deserve.

"This time, it's different"

History goes in cycles, over and over, to the point where it's sort of boring.

One of the cycles is the way governments and long-lived organizations unite to fight change. It involves pronouncements in the halls of Congress, lobbying by entrenched industries, outspoken demonstrations by fringe religious groups ostensibly representing the masses, controversial court decisions and most important, pronouncements that "this changes everything", "it's the end of the world as we know it," "this goes against God's will," and my favorite, "sure there are cycles, but this one is different."

I'm in the middle of Seize the Daylight : The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time. An odd topic for a book, something to read after you've read Salt and Cod, but still fascinating.

Here are some things worth noting about the evolution of DST:

"Invented" by Ben Franklin

but not really, because in 1444, the walled city of Basel was about to be attacked. There were infidels outside, and some had infiltrated the town. The guards caught some of the bad guys and heard that the attack was to begin precisely at noon. An alert sentry changed the clock in the square an hour. Brilliant! The insiders, unaided by their allies, started their diversion an hour early. They were all arrested.

But i digress. This book makes you do that.

Lobbying for DST started in earnest about 100 years ago. (Only 80 years after time was standardized--before trains, it didn't really matter that the time was different in different towns.) It if hadn't been for the need to save energy during WWI, it never would have been instituted--the forces against change refused to accept how much money would be saved (turns out it is millions and millions of dollars a year, probably billions by now) and were against it in general principle.

Sir William Christie, Astronomer Royal, called DST nothing but special legislation for late risers (ah, the moral failing card).

Sir William Napier Shaw, director of the Meteorological office said, "To alter the prsent mode of measuring time would be to kill a goose that lays a very valuable egg."

Nature magazine said, "The advance from local to the standard time of today was a step well thought out, and one that cannot be reversed by the introduction of a new and really nondescript time under the old name."

The Secretary of the London Stock Exchange, Mr. Satterthwaite said the bill would, "Create a dislocation of Stock Exchange business in the chief business centre of the world."

Of course, many reactionaries with nothing concrete to say merely mocked William Willet, the chief proponent of the change. Nature wondered if his next trick was going to be to redefine the thermometer so that in the winter it would be 42 degrees instead of 32.

The theatre owners united (RIAA flashback!) and worked hard to defeat the bill, saying that if it weren't dark at night, their business would be completely decimated.

Year after year, the bill failed to pass in the UK. In the US the story was much the same.

The New York Times wrote, this is, "little less than an act of madness."

[more soon] later  [okay, now it's soon...]

My very favorite quote of all comes from Mississippi.

"Repeal the law and have the clocks proclaim God's time and tell the truth!" That comes from Congressman Ezekiel Candler, Jr.

And Harry Hull of Iowa said, "When we passed the law, we tried to 'put one over' on Mother Nature, and when you try to improve the natural laws it usually ends in disaster."

After the law passed, there were court battles everywhere. Battles over state vs. federal jurisdiction, for example.

Just something to think about the next time an emergency over takes our culture... something that threatens the status quo that must be vanquished before it ends in disaster.

public service announcement

for my American friends and readers: Change the clocks!

Link: Daylight Saving Time - When do we change our clocks?.

PS I'm almost done with the most astonishing book (ready for this...) it's the history of Daylight Saving Time (yes, there's no "s" in saving. That's for mattresses, apparently). It has a lot of profound lessons, which I hope to cover tomorrow. Right now, though, it's time for bed.

Sometimes, The Long Tail isn't there

LongtailAt the airport the other day, I noticed that they had perhaps 20 paperback titles to choose from.

Here's what half the rack looked like.

Now, assuming that they are rational businessfolk, why would they use this very limited space to show us lots and lots and lots of copies of just three books? After all, they get restocked at least twice a day, so it's not to avoid an out of stock situation. The Long Tail would tell us that if they converted these three titles into, say, 50, they'd sell more.

I think I know the answer. People are more likely to buy a book (as opposed to buying nothing) if they think everyone else is reading it. And a great way to communicate that fact is with a display like this one.

Link: The Long Tail.

« March 2005 | Main | May 2005 »