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

« June 2006 | Main | August 2006 »

The Long Tail

The ideas in this book are going to be talked about for the next ten years. Might as well get a copy now. It's worth it.  Required reading: The Long Tail on Squidoo.

Creationist WOM

John Moore nails it: Brand Autopsy: Creationist WOM Eggs-ample. He left out the fifth impression, when you throw the shells down the disposal.

Clueless in your world...

...doesn't mean clueless everywhere.

Brian pointed me to  Wal-Mart - The HUB (School Your Way). The site is about what you'd expect... a sort of lame knock off of youtube and myspace. A Disney version of what makes the web exciting to a lot of people.

But not to all people.

Just because some folks will look at it and sneer doesn't mean it won't work. Some people want a clean, well-lit, orderly environment, even online. Wal-Mart has thrived by trying to sell mass to the masses. It's okay with them that we can't find an adapter for our new Treo there. Or a copy of the latest edgy magazine.

The early adopters out there will push, and often push hard, for you to market to them. Sometimes that's a great idea (after all, they're listening!). But as Wal-Mart has successfully demonstrated, the middle of the market is a very profitable place as well.

How to live happily with a great designer

Why do some organizations look great... and get great results from their design efforts and ads... while others languish in mediocrity? I think it has little to do with who they hire and a lot to do with how they work with their agencies and designers.

Here are the things your design team wishes you would know:

  1. If you want average (mediocre) work, ask for it. Be really clear up front that you want something beyond reproach, that's in the middle of the road, that will cause no controversy and will echo your competition. It'll save everyone a lot of time.
  2. On the other hand, if you want great work, you'll need to embrace some simple facts:
  3. It's going to offend someone. If it doesn't offend them, then it will make them nervous. The Vietnam Vets memorial offended a lot of people. The design of Google made plenty of people nervous. Great work from a design team means new work, refreshing and remarkable and bit scary.
  4. It's not going to be easy to sell to your boss. That's your job, by the way, not mine. If you want me to do something great, you've got to be prepared to protect it and defend it. Come back too many times for one little compromise, and you'll make it clear that #1 was what you wanted all along.
  5. You can't tell me you'll know it when you see it. First, you won't. Second, it wastes too much time. Instead, you'll need to have the patience to invest twenty minutes in accurately describing the strategy. That means you need to be abstract (what is this work trying to accomplish) resistant to pleasing everyone (it needs to do this, this and that) and willing, if the work meets your strategic goal, to embrace it even if it's not to your taste.
  6. Help me out by pointing out the work you'd like this to be on a peer with. If you want a website to be like three others (in tone, not in execution) then point it out. In advance.
  7. Be clear about dates and costs. Not what you hope for, but what you can live with!
  8. You don't know a lot about accounting so you don't backseat drive your accountant. You hired a great designer, please don't backseat drive here, either.
  9. If you want to be part of the process, please go to school. Read design magazines or take a course from Milton Glaser or get a subscription to Before & After. By the way, that one link is the single best part of this post.
  10. This one may surprise you: don't change your existing design so often. Not when your kids or your colleagues tell you it's time. Do it when your accountant says so.
  11. Don't get stressed about your logo.
  12. Get very stressed about user interface and product design. And your packaging.
  13. Say thank you.

I love typefaces

Fonts, for you tech folks.

Fonts are design in a little tiny box. Fonts tell a story at the same time they deliver the letters you need to tell your story. Fonts are usually underused (this ppt is in Arial, that Word doc is in Times, I'm done) or overused (oh, a ransom note!).

Disney And sometimes, fonts are extremely expensive. Not overpriced, necessarily, but it adds up. So, thanks to Digg, it's nice to find: Urban Fonts. Download Free Fonts and Free Dingbats for PC and MAC. Just like it says.

Here are my rules of thumb:

  • Headline fonts ought to be decorative but not ornate. Ornate looks cool on a font menu, but rarely pays off in heavy use.
  • In print, your body copy ought to have serifs, which are those little thingies on the edges of the letters in a font like Times (and missing in Helvetica). They make books look like books.
  • 2 distinctive fonts per page/document/site, please.
  • Powerpoints benefit from distinctive fonts more than any other document.
  • Subtlety matters. A font is a tool, not an amusement park ride.
  • On Planet 19 in the Arbur galaxy, particular fonts mean something different than they do here. But here, a font means what we've been trained to have it mean. So, when you pick a font, realize it comes with its own story. A wild west font, for example, is going to remind people of Will Bill Hickock whether you want it to or not. Pick a font to amplify or complement the story you're trying to tell--without being so predictable that it's a cliche. The Pixar logo would never have worked if they'd used a Disney typeface.
  • Don't change fonts over time (at least not often). The right font becomes your handwriting.

PS at least six people wrote in to recommend dafont.


I got a gift certificate for a massage... went to the spa/place to collect it, and the harried receptionist looked up at me and said, "Are you here for a haircut?"


Just about every organization has a receptionist. Sometimes, he or she is merely a guardian, a patrol designed to keep the riffraff in the lobby.

Other times, though, a receptionist can change the entire tone of an interaction. If you've got someone answering your phone, greeting your clients--who have traveled a thousand miles to visit your office--or otherwise dealing with the outside world, I think it's time to do some simple cost/benefit analysis.

If the receptionist greets just 100 people a day, that's 20,000 people a year. Is it worth a dollar per interaction to transform all of those interactions into something spectacular? In other words, instead of hiring the cheapest person, or sticking with the existing person because it's easier, what if you invested in a truly remarkable experience?

Back seat drivers and the wikipedia problem

Jesse Thorn points us to: The "Snakes on a Plane" Problem. Here's the short version: the people want what the people want, but if you ask them first, you don't always end up with something they actually like.

Thirty Galleys

Free and first.

No essays, no promises, no contest.  [UPDATE... twenty minutes later, sold out, sorry]

First 30 people to drop a note to Allison Sweet get a free copy of my new book, Small is the New Big. It's out in August, but you get it in July.

Have a nice weekend!

Newspaper fraud, tv ratings

Two interesting ideas at the same time this week.

First, after a bazillion years, Nielsen announces that they will start to rate the viewership of commercials. The obvious question, "why wait so long?" The answer is that the networks are a critical client of Nielsen, and the last thing in the universe they want is to rate commercials. The surprising thing is that many advertisers don't want the ratings either. Why? Because as soon as you measure, you need to admit you failed. So you need to tell your boss you wasted a few million dollars...

Second, Doug Karr writes in to take newspapers and the Audit Bureau of Circulation to task for the changing standards in newspaper ratings. The numbers are a lot less strict... and a lot softer... than they were a decade or two ago, he reports.

Measurement is always tricky, because people believe what they want to believe and find the numbers to back it up. In both cases, we're seeing how advertisers and media companies are complicit at weaving a story that doesn't really hold up. How many "hits" did your web page get last week? And what, exactly, does that mean?

Blake's novel

Blake Schwendiman is a really talented guy, and he's been moonlighting on a novel. This is happening often enough (blog leads to audience leads to book leads to audience leads to financial success and popular ideas) that it's now officially a trend.

« June 2006 | Main | August 2006 »