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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

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Member since 08/2003

« August 2006 | Main | October 2006 »

One Shot Design

Most design gets a chance to evolve. If you don't like this can opener, you can buy that one. If you are unfamiliar with how this widget works, you can learn. If an ad doesn't get response, it can be redesigned and the advertiser can try again.

But some design only gets to be used once. And if it fails, there's a significant cost. Fire extinguishers, for example, pretty much need to work right away, and the user doesn't have a lot of selection.

You would think that after the ballot design debacle of 2000 in Florida, ballot designers would have learned this lesson. Today, though, the primary ballot in my precinct in New York looked a little like this (sorry, didn't have my camera):


This is just wrong. It's wrong because you expect the jobs to be in the left column and the parties to be across the top. That way, you can find a job (like Senator) and scan along, left to right, the way you are used to, and find the person for that job. Instead, you find the party, scan along and have to find a candidate you recognize, then go up with your eye and try to find the job that sort of matches it. Except the jobs across the top take more than one column (Attorney General took four or five) and it's really hard to grok the thing. Why is "Tasini" next to "Green"? Unrelated items should not be in the same row.

This is basic stuff, folks. Clearly, 'ballot designer' is not a particularly well-trained position. Or difficult to get, either.

My suggestion: I think if it's important to certify engineers (who build bridges) or pilots (who fly planes), perhaps there should be a certification process for designers who design things that we only get to use once--and that matter.

What's a trackback?

Peter writes in with a question that should have a very simple answer.

There at the bottom of every one of my posts (and at the bottom of many other blog's posts) you'll see the word 'trackback'.

Click on it and you'll see a list of other blogs that have commented on the posting. It's an effective way to encourage non-anonymous communication between blogs. It's also a good way to let someone find your blog... by posting your thoughts about blog posts that someone else is already reading... trackbacking your post to the original.

Unfortunately, it's not that obvious to use. You can see the wikipedia riff here.

First, if you've got blogger, you're out of luck. Most other kinds of blogging software permit it. Some do an autodetection, so once you start to do a post, it will enable you to just drag down and choose the post you want to track (details here: : TrackBack Explanation.) Others require you to hit the trackback button, copy the trackback URL you see right there, and then paste it into your post (in the field that says 'trackback field'.)

In Typepad, you'll find that field if you hit 'customize' on your post page. This is needlessly complex, but hey, it's not my fault.

Hope that helps.

[PS Douglas Welch says this will help for Blogger users.]

They didn't get the memo

31.4% of Americans don't have internet access.

90% of the people in France have not created a blog.

88% of all users have never heard of RSS.

59% of American households have zero iPods in them.

30% of internet users in the US use a modem.

Detroit (one million people) has six Starbucks.

1% of internet users use Digg on an average day.

Marley and Me
outsells Small is the New Big 200:1. On a good day.

.37% of the US population reads the paper version of the New York Times daily.

Brazil consumes 11% of the world's coffee.

20% of the world speaks English.

98.2% of the households in the US have a TV, and virtually all of those TVs have cable.

The point of this list isn't to persuade you to give up your quest and become a producer for the Today Show or to go work for People magazine. No, all the growth and the opportunity and the fun is at the leading edge, at the place where change happens. I just thought it was worth a moment to remember that Rogers was right, and that we're living on a never-ending adoption curve.

Doing it for free

I was reading John Hammond's biography entry, (John discovered Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Springsteen and yes, Count Basie) and I noticed that he was independently wealthy.

Woz wasn't looking to make a lot of money when he invented the Apple computer, and Nolan Bushnell certainly didn't imagine he was creating the video game industry when he invented Pong. Cory and the rest of the boingboing team had no revenue for years, and Digg and Yahoo! and dozens of other key websites were started without an eye on profit, never mind revenue. The same thing is true for Julia Child and Gene Roddenberry and Dean Kamen.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more it seems that pioneers are almost never in it for the money. The smart ones figure out how to take a remarkable innovation and turn it into a living (or a bigger than big payout) but not the other way around. I think the reason is pretty obvious: when you try to make a profit from your innovation, you stop innovating too soon. You take the short payout because it's too hard to stick around for the later one.

Irony #1 is that business journalists always ask pioneers about the money. And then they are incredulous when they hear the answer. They make up bogus numbers or just assume the pioneer is lying. They don't see the trend.

The second irony is that people who want to join the pioneers are often focused on a steady paycheck and juicy options... they would probably be better off seeking the edgiest thing they can find, run by the most devoted visionary.

Mayor Rowling

She doesn't participate often, but without her, there would be no city: MuggleNet Fan Fiction :: Harry Potter stories written by fans!.

Linus Torvald is a mayor as well.

So is Meg Whitman.

Walter vs. Mike

Walter Cronkite was one of the greatest broadcasters of all time. He was authentic and trusted and believed, and he had a huge amount of influence.

Mike Bloomberg is the Mayor of New York. His job is not to be a public speaker or even to spread his ideas. His job is to make New York work--to get people to come, to visit, to start businesses, to go to school. To make the city appealing and functional.

Standing on a corner in New York today, it occured to me that many businesses and most big brands are stuck on being Walter. In fact, I think they need to be Mike. Starbucks works when it's like a functioning city. So do consulting firms, talent agencies, factories and supermarkets.

It's hard to be a mayor. You don't get to be in charge, really. You can help set the table, and then get out of the way and let the village/city function the best you can.

Top ways to defend the status quo

  1. "That will never work."
  2. "... That said, the labor laws make it difficult for us to do a lot of the suggestions [you] put out. And we do live in a lawsuit oriented society.""
  3. "Can you show me some research that demonstrates that this will work?"
  4. "Well, if you had some real-world experience, then you would understand."
  5. "I don't think our customers will go for that, and without them we'd never be able to afford to try this."
  6. "It's fantastic, but the salesforce won't like it."
  7. "The salesforce is willing to give it a try, but [major retailer] won't stock it."
  8. "There are government regulations and this won't be permitted."
  9. "Well, this might work for other people, but I think we'll stick with what we've got."
  10. "We'll let someone else prove it works... it won't take long to catch up."
  11. "Our team doesn't have the technical chops to do this."
  12. "Maybe in the next budget cycle."
  13. "We need to finish this initiative first."
  14. "It's been done before."
  15. "It's never been done before."
  16. "We'll get back to you on this."
  17. "We're already doing it."

All quotes actually overheard, or read on blogs/comments about actual good ideas.


There are 345,000,000 Google matches for "ultimate". "Best" is way behind at 300,000,000, while finest only can score 119,000,000. Unique gets 664 million.

You're not as unique as you think you are, I guess.

(And Aidan points out nearly a billion matches for perfect.)

This might just be the one

"I'm not asking your advice because I need help coming up with a tried and true, predictable, safe or proven idea. No, I've already tried all of those and they didn't work. I'm asking your help in finding something creative, untested, unproven, off the wall, risky, fashionable and challenging. Don't let me down. Don't hesitate to share your crazy idea... it might just be the one."

[PS I was a little too subtle here... I wasn't soliciting your ideas with this post--that would be weird, since I didn't even tell you what I needed ideas about! It was a hypothetical riff, in quotes, that you could think about the next time a colleague says, "can you help me with this?". Sorry for the confusion. Thanks.]

Petitions can be magic

They can be viral, they can build emotional energy, they can build a permission asset and as a bonus, they might even 'work.'

This one from the March of Dimes seems to get in right in a few ways. ARE WE DOODLE-WORTHY?.

« August 2006 | Main | October 2006 »