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

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altMBA

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

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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

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

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Small is the New Big

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

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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

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?

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

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Is there a first mover advantage?

Some conventional wisdom says that you need to be first to win. People will point to eBay and Microsoft and Starbucks and the William Morris Agency and say, "if it's a natural monopoly or a market where switching costs are high, the first person in, wins."

This argument has been amplified lately by the high cost of building a name for yourself (it would cost just too much to build a brand bigger than Starbucks in a post-TV world) as well as the network effects of things like eBay and Hotmail.

Skeptics scream foul. They point out that not one of the examples I gave above was actually the first mover. There were plenty of others that came first, and, they argue, the fast follower won by learning from the mistakes of the innovator. They argue that innovation is overrated and low costs and good service are the key.

I think both sides are wrong (and right) and the mistake is caused by the erroneous belief that there's a market.

There isn't a market.

There are a million markets. Markets of one, or markets of small groups, or markets of cohorts that communicate.

If you're an eBay user, my guess is that eBay was the first auction site you used. If you use Windows, my guess is that you never used CPM. And if you are a Starbucks junkie, my guess is that you don't live near a Peets.

What happens: the market often belongs to the first person who brings you the right story on the right day.

Yes, you must be first (and right) in that market or this market.
But that doesn't mean you have to be first (and right) in the universe.

The market is splintering more than even some pundits predicted in 1998 (that would be me). Which means that the idea of monolithic marketing messages to monolithic markets makes no sense. The race is now to be the first mover in the micromarkets where attention matters.

Of course, those micromarkets are leaky. People don't cooperate. They talk to each other. So pretty quickly, that splintered market coalesces into something bigger.

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Seth Goden points out something that is often forgotten by excitable, technology driven start-ups: Its not always that important to be the first to market. From his entry: If youre an eBay user, my guess is that eBay was the first auctio... [Read More]

» Is there a first mover advantage? from Startup Fever
Seth Godin asks, is there a first mover advantage?: Some conventional wisdom says that you need to be first to win. People will point to eBay and Microsoft and Starbucks and the William Morris Agency and say, if its a natural monopoly o... [Read More]

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