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Seth Godin has written 18 bestsellers that have been translated into 35 languages

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An intensive, 4-week online workshop designed to accelerate leaders to become change agents for the future. Designed by Seth Godin, for you.



All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing




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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

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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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« February 2007 | Main | April 2007 »

Time machines

George points out that thousands of post offices have removed the clocks from their waiting areas. "The Watson Post Office is one of the nation's 37,000 post offices in which clocks have been removed from retail areas as part of a "retail standardization program" launched last year. The effort is designed to give the public-service areas a more uniform appearance, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported in Thursday editions."

Oh. Gotta love the focus on uniform appearance.

And Matthew points out, "I went to Sears a while back to pick up my repaired dehumidifier. They have a big sign up that says I'm to be given a gift card if I have to wait more than ten minutes for my transaction to be completed. The guy waited on me, and a timer started ticking on the TV located over the service desk. He disappeared into the back to pick up my dehumidifier. 9 and a half minutes later the timer stopped. 15 minutes later I was handed my dehumidifier.

I asked this guy about the gift card and he pointed at the TV monitor which still displayed 9:30. I asked to see a manager... [apparently, they figured out how to change the timer so it always stops just before ten minutes].

On the way out I noticed a big sign congratulating the employees for serving all customers in ten minutes or less last month."

Often, more effort goes into circumventing a system then it would take to just do a great job in the first place...

What's the founder doing in Zabar's?

This weekend I ran into Sarah, founder of sweetriot handing out samples of her chocolate to the weekend crowds at Zabars. It's more like Grand Central than Grand Central in there...

My first reaction was, "what's she doing here?" and then my second reaction was, "of course she's here."

Part of small being the new big is that the founder of the food company can spend a Saturday giving out samples at a key store. Because she needs to. Because she can. Because the feedback is essential.

We won't be undersold

If you have a won't be undersold motto, the very best thing that you can do is find customers who find a better price somewhere else... and then give them the discount. Why? Because it proves you're not lying, and it spreads the word. Those customers are heroes.

Compare that approach to this one from Jason found at It appears as though Best Buy had a secret Intranet site that looked just like their regular site... except with higher prices on it. So, if you came in claiming that the store was being undersold by the website, it's alleged that employees would show you a site that sure looked like their site...exept you were 'wrong.'


Is hiding a growth strategy?

Wendy's is using a legal loophole to avoid posting the calorie content of its food on the menus in their New York stores. Perhaps they're hoping that people won't realize that eating every meal there is going to make them fat.

Porsche ran a huge ad in today's New York Times for the Cayenne. It contains every imaginable stat, including the size of the brake rotors. Oh, they left one stat out: mileage. Perhaps they're hoping that people wealthy enough to buy a $60,000 SUV won't notice how much gas they're using...

The thing is: if you're going to work this hard to hide information that's likely to be quite important to some users, it's going to be very hard to grow. One way or the other, the market finds out.

The China problem

Big markets look sexy. Big markets are a problem.

Sitting at the vet today, I saw a brochure for an injectable chip that makes it easier to identify a lost dog. No doubt, the investor meetings all started with, "Well, there's a hundred million dogs in the United States, and if we just make a dollar annual profit on each one..."

It sounds reasonable. It's not.

The problem with huge markets is the same problem you'd have playing squash or raquetball on a court that's too big. The ball doesn't have a wall to bounce off of. Huge horizontal markets have no echo chamber, no niches, no easy entry points. To make a system like this work, everyone has to agree on the technology and then there has to be a huge push to get millions of people to make the same decision at about the same time. It might work, but it's awfully expensive.

Small markets aren't as sexy, but they're actually a better place to start.

Hybrid is the new Nano

Following a long tradition of slapping the latest buzzword on everything and anything: hybrid golf clubs.

Hybrid often means 'compromise', 'blend' and 'please everyone'. Dangerous territory if you're not careful.

[My golfing friends point out that the hybrid club came before the hybrid car. Noted. My point remains the same... buzzwords half a short half life.]

The Disappointment of the Noisy People

"Embrace your base."
"Blog about blogging."

If you want to get off to a great start in the primaries, be Dennis Kucinic or Sam Brownback. Someone the noisy people like to talk about.

If you want traffic to your blog, blog about blogging, because bloggers are noisy.

Noisy: as in being willing to raise your voice in defense (or in opposition) to an idea, a product or a person.

The noisy people shun the non-believers. (This video will never be fully scraped off your consciousness after you watch it, I promise). They (okay, we, cause I'm a noisy person too) are drawn to stuff at the edges and we like to talk about it. When I heard two kids at the middle school acting out the non-believers part of the Candy Mountain video, I knew it had arrived.

And I also knew that it was unlikely to go much further. The disappointment of the noisy people is this: Jon Stewart and Peet's Coffee and the Mac almost never make it across the chasm, almost never become the choice of the masses. The parts of the story that make us delighted to talk about it, the parts of the story that make it easy to spread, rarely work for the masses.

So, if you want to reach the masses, you'll need to realize that changing your story (but not your essence) is part of the deal. It'll disappoint your noisy people, no doubt about it. But if you're authentic in the core of what you offer, they'll forgive you. The challenge is in creating a product or service or platform that can sustain both stories.

Rare honesty

Not sure how often communication like this actually occurs: Note From Boss To Employees.

« February 2007 | Main | April 2007 »