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

« April 2006 | Main | June 2006 »

Please come June 15

Not many more opportunities to sign up for my all day seminar on June 15.

Because my detail page didn't do a great job of describing the benefits of the event, here you go:

For less than $667 a person (if you bring two friends) we'll spend the day in New York City going over the new marketing, how it impacts your organization and what you can do about it. The first few hours of the day includes a very fast-paced overview of ideas from Permission Marketing, Unleashing the Ideavirus, Purple Cow, Free Prize Inside and All Marketers are Liars. The focus will be on laying out a framework that is easy to explain to your peers and your boss.

After that, the agenda is driven by the audience. Each person gets a chance to talk about her business or her website or a particular marketing issue. I address each of them, one by one, and the audience quickly gets the hang of a particular approach to problem solving (that would, ahem, be my approach). The goal is to get the group to the point where it's really clear what to do before you even hear my riffs.

In the past, seminar attendees have included everyone from major inkjet printer companies to political candidates to non-profits. We've had giant companies from Chicago and one-person operations from South Korea. In just about every case, people leave energized--and send me notes a week or a month or even a year later about how their perspective was changed, and how it's paying off.

The thrill for me is in assembling a group of people who believe they have little in common... and watching everyone in the room gradually "get it", realizing how the new marketing techniques change so many things in their organization. If I can do that, if I can send you home ready and able to grow fast if you want to, then it's been a good day.

Seats are really limited, so if you want to come, please sign up soon. Not sure when the next one might be. Thanks.

In search of better

Every day, in almost every office of almost every organization, people are going to get together to make something better.

Making things better is a natural impulse, especially if you want to grow.

Unfortunately, better is not always the right strategy. Better is not always superior to different.

When you make something that works a little better, you're playing the same game, just keeping up with the status quo. When you make something different, on the other hand, you're trying to change the game.

The next time your engineers or customer service people want to initiate a project to make something better, challenge them to make something different instead.

Overnight success?

What's the opposite of that? An Overnight failure?

The idea of an overnight success is relatively new. Joan of Arc, Robin Hood and Sarah Bernhardt were not overnight successes. It took media (the old kind, like TV and movies, and especially the new kind, like Google video) to create the overnight success. My friends Pomme and Kelly are overnight successes. So are some of the characters on American Idol.

Along the way, some people have trained themselves to believe that the only kind of success worth having is overnight success. That if you don't hit #1 the first week, you've failed. That if your interface isn't perfect out of the box, or if you don't get 5,000 people standing in line at the opening of your new store, you've failed.

The Times today reports on Kathleen McGowan, easily considered an overnight failure. She spent years researching and writing a novel. She went to the annual book convention on her own nickel last year, trying to pitch it. Day after day was spent slogging her way to any person willing to look at it. This year, of course, she's back with a million dollar plus advance, feted by booksellers, the whole drill.

Picture_64 Squidoo is another interesting case. Here's a look at our daily traffic, courtesy of our Google Analytics package, since January (I removed four weeks in mid-March, mid-April, because of a glitch with search.)  Squidoo has more than 27,000 lenses built by 15,000 people in about five months. No, the chart doesn't look like MySpace or Flickr. What it does look like is the early days of Google and Wikipedia and other overnight failures.

The challenge for observers, investors and partners (like the publisher who took on Kathleen) is to avoid the temptation of buying the media infatuation with the overnight success story (which rarely happens overnight). The challenge for marketers is to figure out what daily progress looks  like and obsess about that.

The goal, I think, is to be an overnight failure, but one that persists. Keeping costs low, building a foundation that leads to the right kind of story, the right kind of organic growth. Kathleen wrote a book that she believes in, one that was worth investing years of her life into. And then she painstakingly made progress until she became the next big thing.

478 Pete

"More case studies," they say. Okay, here's one:

Pete was in a business that's a real commodity. Moving and storage. Mostly local. Anyone with a truck and some strong men can get in. It's about price, mostly, plus service and ethics, I guess.

The thing is, most people don't hire a mover very often. And when they do, they do it with fear and loathing, not excitement. The only thing that can happen is something bad.

So what did Pete do? He built a Purple Cow, one with a real story.

Pete works for Metro North. He sold tickets at the train station in my town. Which means (pre credit card machine) that every single commuter knew him.

Pete got a phone number with a local exchange (478). Only people in town can get that exchange. They're coveted.

And then he hired some nice guys. Not guys who had to be trained to be nice, but nice guys.

So, you see the trucks. The paint job is neat and clean. The firm's name (478 PETE) is the phone number is the story is the guarantee. Of course Pete's not going to rip you off. He'd have to quit his great job at Metro-North to hide from you. Of course he's local, he's even got the exchange!

Bingo. Pete's set for life.

Now, what usually happens at this point is that people say one of two things, "Sure, that was obvious," and "sure, it worked for him... but what about my particular unique one-and-only situation..."

Well, it's not that obvious. And yes, if Pete can make local moving and storage into a goldmine, odds are you can reinvent your gig as well. None of it would have worked if he had run a standard moving company... the product (the men and the man) is the marketing.

Yeah, but is it worse than...

New York City's DOT website?

We now have a new standard in bad web design from organizations that should know better and can afford to do it right. My expectations would be low, but Mike Bloomberg can do better.

Before you launch your commerce site, compare it to this one.

The list is long, and here are some partial highlights:

  • Even though the URL is on traffic signs throughout New York (this is the place to get the new parking card for meters in the city), how long did it take you to find the link on the site?
  • The checkout system requires registration first.
  • You must manually enter your address twice.
  • The state is a pull-down list (yikes), AND New York and New Jersey are not listed in alphabetical order. They're at top, which makes sense until you go by habit and wonder why they're missing from the "New"s. Costs nothing to list them twice. Costs even less to leave a blank.
  • The phone number requires you to mash up all the digits 5553434 even though the box is long enough (a cue!) to use a space or a dash.
  • There are dozens of other problems, all culminating with this message when you're done:

Picture_63 So, the new rallying cry of the mediore, "Hey, at least it's not as bad as the DOT site."

Lessons Learned from Trader Joe’s

I was talking with a colleague today about the magic of Trader’s. Here’s how they make billions:

1.    they target a consumer that cares a great deal about what they buy at the supermarket. As a result, their customers are more loyal, and more important, are willing to drive farther to get there. This means they can have smaller, lower-rent locations (and fewer of them) which drives up sales per square foot and profits.

2.    These customers are big mouths. They sneeze. When they serve something from Trader’s they brag about, they tell the story of the store. This drives down advertising costs.

3.    Most of what they sell is private label. Now that they have scale, they are able to negotiate great prices from their suppliers, and more important, encourage/force their suppliers to make unique items, or organic foods, or foods of higher quality for the money. All of this is a virtuous cycle. The key mantra is that Trader’s finds foods for its customers, NOT customers for its foods.

I think these three steps are viable for a wide range of businesses and sectors. One example to stretch your thinking: the TED conference. It’s in a remote location, one that’s probably a bit cheaper than some. People who care are happy to shlep. And they love to talk about it. And because the audience is so focused, the speakers come for free, further enhancing the cycle. If it works for supermarkets and high-end business conferences, where else does it work?

#1 at the Box Office

So, Tom Cruise devoted the last year of his life to promoting a movie that will be #1 in the US for exactly 14 days.

To be replaced by another movie, even more hyped than Cruise’s, that may just triumph for three weeks instead of two. just released a study of bestselling books. It turns out that in the last forty years, the length of stay of a typical bestseller at #1 is down by more than 85%. In other words, bestsellers used to be bestsellers for seven times as long as they are now.

That’s an awe-inspiring figure.


Because the base of the pyramid is so much bigger (ten times as many books published every year, at least) you would expect that the winners would win bigger and longer to make it worth the journey. Not so.

And awe-inspiring because the effort necessary to get to #1 is far greater than it used to be. From co-op (bribes) to retailers for shelf-space and advertising to the extensive touring and cross promotion that’s necessary, it’s a lot more work and a lot more risk to get there.

Now, we’re seeing authors building permission assets and timing all their promotion so they can be #1 on Amazon for an hour—an hour! Allen Drury had a #1 bestseller for a year.

Of course, it’s not just movies and books. Just about any style-based business (and what business is no longer style based?) sees the same phenomenon. The lesson I draw is this:

If your marketing strategy requires you to hit #1 in order to succeed, you probably need a new marketing strategy.

Transportation Day

Years ago, my grandmother would take my sisters and me on a day-long tour of New York’s transport system. We’d ride the bus, the subway, even the Roosevelt Island Tramway.

Here’s what my day was like:
I missed the express train into the city by less than ten seconds. Missed the shuttle to Times Square by twenty seconds. After my photo shoot, got lucky and caught the 1 train a minute after i got to the station. Unfortunately, it was going south and I wanted to go north. Got off at the next station, no tunnel to switch directions, so I had to leave the subway, cross the street and pay again to enter. Missed the northbound train by less than twenty seconds.

Destination: 79th Street.

Train gets stuck at 72nd, door won’t shut. I get out, run seven blocks in the rain. Step in a puddle up to my knee. Miss getting hit by a Lexus by about an inch. Got to my uptown meeting just in time, Leave my uptown meeting, see an empty cab in the pouring rain. As I go to open the door, a guy opens the door on the other side and steals my cab. I walk the seven blocks in the rain, no cabs. Got to the 72nd street station just in time to see the express train pull out.

Lucky for me, the Roosevelt Island Tram is broken.

This is apropos of nothing, of course, but I thought I’d get all cat blog on you and share my day.

Spam of the day


dear sir or lady,

i have an ostrich farm in singapore.

i need to be more up to date with ostrich world.

therefore, i need all bookes related to the ostrich for the following purposes:
1. chicken breeding
2. farming
3. establishment the farm and construction
6. video CD for all subjects
and so on...

i need complete package. price is not important.

please send your complete offer as soon as possible

best regards


But is it CB Radio?

If you're over 40, you need to ask yourself the question, "did you have a CB radio?"

Millions of Americans did. It was a classic craze disguised as a trend. CB radio made everyone into a broadcaster. CB radio allowed millions of people to communicate with each other--strangers and friends. CB radio changed the social network and the way we connect. CB radio even inspired a movie. And then it went away, right back to the truckers who brought it to us.

Geocities was CB radio. Geocities allowed anyone to build a free website. It grew fast and then boom. Same with online greeting cards.  Email, on the other hand, was not CB radio. Email, on the other hand, really did change (almost) everything.

And what about blogs? Are blogs CB radio or are they email?

Brad Feld has a great post about the first 25,000. This is the CB radio audience. Every once in a while, (more on the web than ever before anywhere else) the CB radio guys find something that gets bigger and more permanent. The art is in distinguishing one from the other, and investing early (your time, not just your money) in the platforms that are more likely to reach everyone else.

Tell me again what RSS is?

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