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Seth Godin has written 12 bestsellers that have been translated into 33 languages

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all.marketers.tell.stories

All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing

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Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow

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linchpin

Linchpin

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

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Meatball Sundae

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

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Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.

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poke.the.box

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.

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purple.cow

Purple Cow

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Small is the New Big

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survival.is.not.enough

Survival is Not Enough

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

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The Big Moo

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

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The Big Red Fez

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

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The Dip

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

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The Icarus Deception

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

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Tribes

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

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Unleashing the Ideavirus

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

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v.is.for.vulnerable

V Is For Vulnerable

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

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we.are.all.weird

We Are All Weird

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

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whatcha.gonna.do.with.that.duck

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.

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« Judging a book by its cover | Main | Boy am I in trouble. »

Clean firetrucks

We live in a neighborhood where all the firehouses are run by volunteers. I don’t know how we’d get by without them... they do brave work, with little credit.

One thing you’ll notice is how clean the trucks are. “Why are the trucks so clean,” a friend asked? After all, a clean firetruck isn’t a lot better at putting out fires than a smudged one.

The answer: Because when there isn’t a fire, the firemen wait for the siren to ring. And while they’re waiting, they clean the truck.

Sounds a lot like where you work. Most organizations are staffed with people waiting for the alarm to ring. Instead of going out to the community and working to prevent new fires, the mindset is that firemen are working to put out the fires that have started. Hotel desk clerks don’t write letters or make calls to generate new business—they stand at the desk waiting for business to arrive. Software engineers are often overwhelmed with an endless list of programming fires—and rarely get a chance to think about what they ought to build next.

The structure of most organizations (and every single school I've ever encountered!) supports this. It’s about cleaning your plate, finishing your assignments and following instructions. Initiative is hard to measure and direct and reward. Task completion, on the hand, is a factory orientation that is predictable and feels safe.

In fast-changing markets, clean firetrucks show attention to detail but rarely lead to growth and success.

What a great way to describe a stuck but busy organization. "They sure have clean firetrucks."

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Clean firetrucks:

» Bubble Thinking Redux from The Vision Thing
I hate playing into his hands with this post (explanation to come in my next post), but Seth Godins latest missive not only smacks of bubble thinking, but is plain offensive. ... [Read More]

» Fire Engine from The Bitter Pill
There had to come a day when I disagreed with Seth Godin on something. Todays the day. Godin uses the immaculate and sparkling trucks all fire stations seem to have as an allegory for businesses making busy work for themselves while they wait ... [Read More]

» Godin Doesnt Get it from Russell Page
We live in a neighborhood where all the firehouses are run by volunteers. I don’t know how we’d get by without them they do brave work, with little credit. One thing you’ll notice is how clean the trucks are. “Why are the trucks so cle... [Read More]

» Clean firetrucks from 行雲會 (SMEC) 部落格
By Seth Godin Posted on: Fri, Dec 30 2005 We live in a neighborhood where all the firehouses are run by volunteers. I don’t know how we’d get by without them... they do brave work, with little credit.... [Read More]

» Clean firetrucks from 行雲會 (SMEC) 部落格
By Seth Godin Posted on: Fri, Dec 30 2005 We live in a neighborhood where all the firehouses are run by volunteers. I don’t know how we’d get by without them... they do brave work, with little credit.... [Read More]

» Mouse Mistakes from The Post Money Value
If youve ever been to Disney World, youve noticed that employees (cast members) all wear name badges that are typically first name with the home town under the name. Its been a very effective consumer activity, one which almost everybody in the industr... [Read More]

» clean firetrucks from silk and spinach
According to lean thinking, clean firetrucks are a sign that we can expect high throughput [Read More]

» clean firetrucks from silk and spinach
According to lean thinking, clean firetrucks are a sign that we can expect high throughput [Read More]

» clean firetrucks from silk and spinach
According to lean thinking, clean firetrucks are a sign that we can expect high throughput [Read More]

» Initiative from The Recruiting Animal
Most people are waiting for the alarm to ring instead of going out and setting fires on their own. Reference: Seth Godinsky [Read More]

« Judging a book by its cover | Main | Boy am I in trouble. »