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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

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

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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

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

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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

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Tribes

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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?

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

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« Quit Whining! | Main | Unforgivable »

No Cake!

Every organization tells a story, want to or not.

Two ways of thinking about flying yesterday.

Thousands of people descend on JetBlue. The JetBlue team decides to tell a story about confidence and empathy, about competence and kindness. They staff the security line with talented people, they plan a route through the terminal, they figure out what the TSA is going to want.

End result: fast lines, happy employees, loyal customers.

Just on the other side of the line are the bureaucrats at the TSA. They tell a story too, but it couldn't be intentional.

"No Cake!" the screener yells. "No pie either!" and they make the person traveling to her family throw out her home-baked cake.

We got up to the line. I had an ounce of gel left in a five ounce bottle. They made me throw it out because the label said 5 ounces (though it was clearly more than half empty).

The story?

  • We don't care. We don't have to.
  • We don't make judgment calls. We're not allowed to and we don't care that management treats us this way.
  • Don't you dare say anything.
  • Be afraid.
  • Bothering everyone is smarter than hiring talented people to find the .0001% of the population that's harmful.

No Cake!

Is this the sort of government we want? We deserve? We should pay for?

The easy thing for me to do is say nothing. It makes me seem like a whiner, after all. But to stand by while all of us spend billions of dollars a year chasing the wrong thing, doing it poorly and telling exactly the wrong story is far worse than that.

There are 583 ways to hurt yourself and your fellow passengers onboard an airplane. Gel (and cake) are exactly two of them. How many more are we going to protect ourselves against? If the best our bureaucracy can do is scare us with cries of "No Cake!" and "too much gel," then I think we need a new bureaucracy.

More important from a safety point of view, we need a new story. One that simulateously scares the bad guys without crippling the rest of us. Yes, the TSA's failure is a marketing failure. If you work there, drop me a line and I'll send you a book.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference No Cake!:

» Airport Security Theater and the story it tells from Musings of an Eco-Entrepreneur
I cant help it- every time I have I fly and have to go through Airport Security Theater I get grumpy. The last two times Ive flown Ive had some TSA goon or another comment on why Im not smiling. Why should I be smiling? I... [Read More]

» Who's the Uniformed Guy Carrying the M16 in My Airport? from bizsolutionsplus Featuring Solutions to Grow Your Business
I am rerunning this post because Thanksgiving air travel reminds us why Government seems unable to launch and execute on in-country missions. For me, air travel changed the day I stood in line waiting to get through security at the Manchester, NH, airp... [Read More]

» How Do You Treat Customers--The JetBlue Way Or The TSA Way? from Customer Service Experience
Seth Godin writes about the differences between the way JetBlue and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) interact with their customers. To be fair to the TSA, they have totally different missions. But Seth makes some excellent points. The r... [Read More]

» False Authority Syndrome from davidgagne.net
Once again I found myself in trouble at the Los Angeles International Airport, and once again it was (arguably) my own damn fault. Last Thursday I flew Southwest to Providence, Rhode Island to testify in court on behalf of my dad, who was in the midst... [Read More]

» Seth Godin On The TSA from stranahan.com
I swear - if some politician comes along who doesnt sing from the same songbook as every other politician and starts talking about an agenda based on actually new ideas that change the way things are done, theyd win. Sometimes politics go... [Read More]

» TSA == INS 2.0? from Random Thoughts
In this post, Seth Godin relates the non-customer centric nature of the TSA. As a non-US citizen and as someone who as travelled into and out of the US many, many times over the past twenty years, it seems like... [Read More]

» No cake, and rotting fish from ThinkingMeat
Seth Godin provides anecdotal evidence that the brainiacs at the TSA are spending waaaaay too much time thinking up new ways to be total asshats: Just on the other side of the line are the bureaucrats at the TSA. They tell a story too, but it cou... [Read More]

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I enjoy reading Seth Godin's blog , so I thought I would summarize a particularly annoying set of stories [Read More]

« Quit Whining! | Main | Unforgivable »