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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

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

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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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« February 2007 | Main | April 2007 »

When Purple Cows go Mad

Stuntbaby I've been a fan of Archie McPhee for years. They have a long history of creating remarkable products. Goofy stuff that's actually worth talking about.

Well, I get a lot of stuff in the mail, and most of it doesn't end up getting posted here. Especially the horrible stuff. But this time, in the pursuit of making a buck, McPhee has gone too far.

The Cap'n Danger Stunt Monkey baby chute seems like a fun idea. If you're only going to throw an infant five or six feet, it's probably perfectly safe. But how is the company going to avoid the idiotic user that wants to throw his kid from 15 or even 30 feet up?

It's easier than ever to tell a powerful story, a story that people want to hear. And when you believe in your product, that power is important. But this is just stupid. If they had a product for parrots (or even better, goldfish) then perhaps they could argue that it's just harmless fun. But this is serious stuff.

Let's hope they wise up and cancel the product before someone gets hurt. Happy April.

Weekend reading

Geek2 Ever since I didn't like a novel recommended by a friend, I've been hesitant to recommend fiction--it's my fault if you don't like it, I figure. But hey, I feel pretty safe with both of these. They're thriller/con game/caper novels. Unputdownable. And they'll even teach you a little bit about how people market to themselves.

Geek Mafia

Con Ed

Highly recommended.

How to be a great audience

(and what's in it for you...)

I participated in an interesting experiment today. I was lucky enough to attend career day with 75 eighth graders. Divided into five groups, I got to see a group at a time for about fifteen minutes each.

Within three seconds of beginning my talk, I could tell.

I could tell who had learned the skill of being in the audience and who hadn't. And I'm worried that it might be permanent.

The good audiences were all the same. They leaned forward. They made eye contact. They mirrored my energy right back to me. When the talk (five minutes) was over they were filled with questions.

The audience members that hadn't learned the skill were all different. Some made no eye contact. Some found distractions to keep them busy. Some were focused on filling out the form that proved that they had been paying attention.

What I discovered: that the good audience members got most of my attention. The great audience members got even more... attention plus extra effort. And, despite my best efforts, the non-great audience members just sort of fell off the radar.

This isn't a post about me and my talk. It's about the audience members and the choices each make. It's a choice your employees and your customers make too.

It's easy to fall into the trap of believing that information is just delivered to you. That rock stars and violinists and speakers and preachers and teachers and tour guides get paid to perform and the product is the product. But it's not true. Great audiences get more.

Great audiences not only get more energy and more insight and more focused answers to their questions, they also get better jobs and find better relationships. Because the skills and the attitude are exactly the same.

I am too much of an optimist to believe that the lousy audience members in today's program are stuck that way for life. But I know that the longer they wait, the harder it is going to be to change.

The next time someone says, "any questions," ask one. Just ask.

The next time you see a play that is truly outstanding, lead the standing ovation at the end.

The next time you have an itch to send an email to a political blogger or post a comment or do a trackback, do it. Make it a habit.

Thinking about Stripe Generator

Most people can't imagine why you'd want Stripe Generator. After all, it's just a free tool that... makes stripes.

But a few people will bookmark it and use it regularly. A few people will have their lives changed by it (in a good way).

Not a lot of room to make stuff that everyone thinks is great. I think you're a lot better off delighting and amazing the niches.

The Joy/cash curve

Pricevsjoy_copy I think there's a major opportunity here. It seems that for many products, the more you pay, the less fun the buying is. (Not the shopping, the buying). It used to be true at the bottom end of the scale too--the less you pay, the less fun.

The excuse at the bottom was, "hey, you're not paying a lot, what do you expect?" But Starbucks and others have shown that it doesn't have to be that way. But what about the top? Why is a house closing such a horrible affair? Why is paying for your car such torture? (It turns out that many dealerships put you through hoops at the end of your buying process just because that's when they have the most leverage... they don't try to sell you rustproofing at the beginning!)

Given the amount of money at stake, I won't be surprised if organizations start offering a way to make this more pleasant. Example: what if a real estate broker hired a really personable ex-cheerleader/glee club member for $20 an hour to do nothing but sweat the details and be charming the entire time the closing was going on? Someone to run and get donuts and do xeroxing and get papers organized in advance... in the scheme of a million dollar purchase, not such a big deal, right?

The two reasons people say no to your idea

"It's been done before"
"It's never been done before"

Even though neither one is truthful, accurate or useful, you need to be prepared for both.

Blogs are a tactic, not a strategy

Steve Rubel points out that blogs and trackbacks aren't the only thing happening these days (TrackBacks Are Dying.) Digg/reddit and lenses and instant messages and tags are all part of the same universe. Each serves a different purpose, but all of them are related and keep moving ideas around.

If you haven't invested in a blog as a platform, perhaps you want to be the best in the world at something right next to a blog instead...

You should write an ebook

I'm serious. Smart people with good ideas worth sharing can get a lot out of this exercise.

To help you out, I wrote a lens about the simple details of how to do it.

It's technically easy and when it works, your idea will spread far and wide. Even better, the act of writing your idea in a cogent, organized way will make the idea better. You can write an ebook about your travel destination, your consulting philosophy or an amazing job you'd like to fill.

Seven years ago, I wrote a book called Unleashing the Ideavirus. It's about how ideas spread. In the book, I go on and on about how free ideas spread faster than expensive ones. That's why radio is so important in making music sell.

Anyway, I brought it to my publisher and said, "I'd like you to publish this, but I want to give it away on the net." They passed. They used to think I was crazy, but now they were sure of it. So I decided to just give it away. The first few days, the book was downloaded 3,000 times (note: forgive the layout. It's not what I would do if I was doing it today). The next day, the number went up. And then up. Soon it was 100,000 and then a million. The best part of all is that I intentionally made the file small enough to email. Even without counting the folks who emailed it hundreds of times to co-workers, it's easily on more than 2,000,000 computers. I didn't ask anything in return. No centralized email tool. Here it is. Share it.

A Google search finds more than 200,000 matches for the word 'ideavirus', which I made up. Some will ask, "how much money did you make?" And I think a better question is, "how much did it cost you?" How much did it cost you to write the most popular ebook ever and to reach those millions of people and to do a promotion that drove an expensive hardcover to #5 on Amazon and #4 in Japan and led to translation deals in dozens of countries and plenty of speaking gigs?

It cost nothing.

Changethis, which I dreamed up in a moment of weakness a few years ago, is still going strong under better management now. It's the epicenter of ebook distribution, but there are plenty of places just dying to host your content. And your blog is the best place to launch your idea. The biggest challenge is that there are no barriers. If you want to do it, go do it. Ideas worth spreading, spread.

Art that's not for sale

Jordan Tierney and her colleagues have been working for months on the Periodic Tableaux, a one-of-a-kind art book that's not for sale.

Why invest the hours and the sweat and the talent in a piece of art you can't (and won't) sell?

Two reasons. The best reason is that when you practice your craft for yourself, not for the market, it drives you in new and important ways. And the other reason is that people are going to talk about it.

Ideas that spread, win.

Misogyny and anonymity

Three years ago, I posted about anonymity. I still agree with every word I wrote. Anonymity hasn't made the web a better place. Instead, it has allowed some of the worst ideas ever to get published. (This link is unsettling). All we can do is root for Kathy and hope that the bully behind this is caught. It makes me angry.

Where do attitudes like this start? Alas, anonymous bullying is not that far from the hateful things Times critic Harry Hurt says in a review he did of Suze Orman last week. "Among the substances that need hazmat warning labels are the liquid that bronzes Suze Orman's hair, the paste that whitens her teeth..." He goes on for paragraphs in a personal attack that has nothing whatsoever to do with the book or its value. (I wrote a letter to the editor--no luck.) Why is this okay for a blog, never mind the paper of record? I don't think it is. And the hate won't go away, any of it, until enough people speak up.

Isn't it sad that misogyny is so common that there's even a word for it?

« February 2007 | Main | April 2007 »