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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

« December 2009 | Main | February 2010 »

Why you, why now?

That's really the only questions between you and a sale.

If someone is going to buy from you, is it because you're the cheapest? That's a hard thing to maintain. There better be a more sustainable reason than that.

If they're going to by from you today, is it because you're in proximity, the closest, the one source that can satisfy the itch they happen to have? It's a little like being a peanut vendor at the ball game. You need a big crowd and you have to give up a big share of your income in exchange for being in the right place at the right time.

The goal is to create an offering that can answer these two questions. Why from you and why right now...

Most businesses that struggle are unable to answer these two questions in a compelling fashion. They act as though they deserve that sale, or that they need to aggressively close so you'll buy today, instead of working to build in these very elements to the product itself.

What the industry wants

It's easy to get trapped wondering what consumers want, and then being frustrated when you can't get what you cook up in front of the people who want to buy it.

It's easy to forget what industry wants.

Supermarkets don't want unbranded fruits and vegetables, because handling is expensive and it's hard to differentiate and charge extra. On the other hand, they love nationally advertised packaged goods, because they bring in shoppers, they have promotional support, they come with shelf allowances (money for shelf space) and new skus can create excitement.

Fashion stores don't want sensible clothes that don't change from year to year. Hard to make a living doing that. They like zingy designer names and ever-changing fashion and fads. That's how they make a living.

Governments don't like buying at retail. They prefer custom stuff from high-touch organizations that can bring them the mountain, instead of the other way around. They'd rather pay 10x for an office supply that's customized just for them, instead of modifying what they want to match what the market sells. It gives them something to do. And all those salespeople! The trips, the bribes, the attention...

Doctors don't like prescribing lifestyle changes or natural cures, because many patients demand a scrip and it's easily defended and it comes with a sales rep.

If the industry can't make money selling what you're selling, why will they help you?

You can view these things as ridiculous peccadilloes. Or you can see them as parts of the system as permanent and as important as the gatekeepers who rely on them.

On the other hand, fall in love with the system and you might forget the end user. And we know how poorly that works.

Update on the early Linchpin citizen reviewers

Last month, I offered readers who wanted to review my new book a chance to get an early copy. It was a pretty big risk, because it meant ignoring the tried and true process of talking to big media and tailoring a message for critics and reviewers. What happens when you go to your best customers with a product that's untested?

Five weeks later and I couldn't be more pleased or more grateful. We sent out thousands of books (your donations raised more than $100,000 for charity) and so far, the book has been well received  (if you're still expecting one, please be patient, especially Canadians, it should arrive soon - the postal service works in mysterious ways).

The page collecting the blog posts and tweets is here, and the range and depth that people are contributing is really exciting. Some will appear on the end papers in the next printing of my book. Here are some twitter blurbs along with the people you might want to follow:

scott_allison: Just read a preview of Seth Godin's new career manifesto for the new world, Linchpin. Should be given to all school kids.  AronStevenson: Reading the preview of Seth Godin's upcoming book Linchpin - Seth once again delivers what he's promised! Bigbrightbulb: I wish I could tweet [the] hand-scrawled Venn diagrams, they are such a hoot...  jlottosen: Very inspirational - as always. Works on all job types - what do you want to be the great giver of? lantzhoward Loving Seth Godin's #Linchpin. Navigating a new trail in 2010. This is a book for everyone... bnlv  Yes yes yes yes yes!!!!! I'm not available at all until this book has been read. recordstyle  one of those books that you read from the inside out. More of a "find the (you) in between the lines" style, flow, and feel. BarbaraShantz: Reviewing Seth Godin's new book, Linchpin. Fantastic Common Sense like we've not heard before. DanBlank: I'm only on the table of contents, but I've already fallen in love with Seth Godin's new book 'Linchpin' rickysteele: Again, Seth Godin, has written a masterpiece. His newest book, Linchpin, will be one of this year's most important books. Life Changing! paul_shinn: Also read all of Linchpin in one sitting. A great book. Going to think about who I will give the book so they can read it too. mavenroger: Just got my prerelease copy of Godin's Linchpin! In short, it's about doers not talkers. Psyched...more to com. johnwaire found myself taking some extra time to warm up the car this i could squeeze in a few pages of linchpin .... You can find fresh ones here.

In addition, here are three or four blog reviews. The rest are here.

I can't imagine why any author given the chance to do this would hesitate. Bypassing professional critics and allowing real people to use the newly powerful platforms available to them is faster, more direct and gives you far more feedback on your work. Not for the faint of heart though. It's emotionally easier to just push things to retail and hope for the best. Thanks to all who have contributed so far. I'm really humbled by the response.


We often talk about speed when describing certain kinds of businesses. Some companies are bureaucratic, slow, dysfunctional... others are fast... fast to market, fast to ship you something.

Just like a car, though, there's an alternative to raw speed. Call it maneuverability. You might still take a long time to get up to perfect cruising speed, but you can initiate a turn on a dime. I'd put Ford in this category. Obviously, it's going to be a long time before a car company is fast. It can take a year or more to get a factory up and running... there are just too many resources to manage. But how fast can a leveraged person in the organization get a decision made? How much data needs to be collected, how much proof needs to be produced, how many meetings need to be held?

In my experience, the size of the company isn't always the driving factor in this metric. It's usually the guts of senior management that matters.

Brandon Smith took two hours to get this Haiti T-shirt to market. Obviously, t-shirts are very different than SUVs, but the concept is the same. You can choose to organize to make decisions quickly. Or you can have the market ignore you.

Amplifying complaints

Here's a common human trick: before you state your complaint, wind yourself up with a preface that makes your complaint even more plaintive and more vivid.

"Do you know who I am!"

"I saved up for four years for this vacation and paid your top of the line rate..."

"I've told you a million times that the most important feature was this, and in fact the only reason I bought your product was..."

"I've worked my butt off for him for years, showing up even on holidays, and now..."

You've heard it, and perhaps you've done it.

It's interesting to trick yourself by doing precisely the opposite.

"In this economy, I'm lucky to have this job, and it's almost perfect. It would be even better if..."


"I love owning this device, it lets me manage my life and contacts, and the one thing that would make it even better is..."

It's important to leave out the word "but."

The fascinating thing about this approach is that not only does it make you happier when you say it, it increases the chance that the person you're complaining to will actually do something to help you.

Career fairs...

are neither.

Of course they don't exist to help you plan or execute a career. Most of the organizations with booths are bottom fishing, looking for enough willing and able employees to fill established gaps in their companies. This is hiring on the hoof, wholesale filling of average jobs with people trying to be average. Planning a career at a career fair is a little like looking for a soulmate at a singles' bar.

And fair? Hardly. Because there are no average people, right? There are average jobs, certainly, average in that they require people to fit in, do what they're told and follow the manual. I'll grant you that those jobs need to get done, but I'm not sure they have to get done by you.

By the time a job opening hits the career fair, it's a job you don't want. And by the time a job seeker is walking down the aisles, standardized resume in hand, it might be too late for her to find a job that's worthy of her.

Here's to a new, better sort of career fair, one that's selective, interactive, long-term and both career and fair.

The lesson from two lemonade stands

Lemonade The first stand is run by two kids. They use Countrytime lemonade, paper cups and a bridge table. It's a decent lemonade stand, one in the long tradition of standard lemonade stands. It costs a dollar to buy a cup, which is a pretty good price, considering you get both the lemonade and the satisfaction of knowing you supported two kids.

The other stand is different. The lemonade is free, but there's a big tip jar. When you pull up, the owner of the stand beams as only a proud eleven year old girl can beam. She takes her time and reaches into a pail filled with ice and lemons. She pulls out a lemon. Slices it. Then she squeezes it with a clever little hand juicer.

The whole time that's she's squeezing, she's also talking to you, sharing her insights (and yes, her joy) about the power of lemonade to change your day. It's a beautiful day and she's in no real hurry. Lemonade doesn't hurry, she says. It gets made the right way or not at all. Then she urges you to take a bit less sugar, because it tastes better that way.

While you're talking, a dozen people who might have become customers drive on by because it appears to take too long. You don't mind, though, because you're engaged, almost entranced. A few people pull over and wait in line behind you.

Finally, once she's done, you put $5 in the jar, because your free lemonade was worth at least twice that. Well, maybe the lemonade itself was worth $3, but you'd happily pay again for the transaction. It touched you. In fact, it changed you.

Which entrepreneur do you think has a brighter future?

[PS a few hours after I posted this, Elizabeth sent in this photo of her daughter doing exactly what I imagined. She said, "she made a fortune."]

Neat resource of vintage ads

Type in a few search terms (like Babies and Airplanes) and out pops one of the millions of ads in this incredible database.

Certain to inspire, or possibly just give you fodder for a great presentation.

The future of the library

What should libraries do to become relevant in the digital age?

They can't survive as community-funded repositories for books that individuals don't want to own (or for reference books we can't afford to own.) More librarians are telling me (unhappily) that the number one thing they deliver to their patrons is free DVD rentals. That's not a long-term strategy, nor is it particularly an uplifting use of our tax dollars.

Here's my proposal: train people to take intellectual initiative.

Once again, the net turns things upside down. The information is free now. No need to pool tax money to buy reference books. What we need to spend the money on are leaders, sherpas and teachers who will push everyone from kids to seniors to get very aggressive in finding and using information and in connecting with and leading others.

The victim

Does your job happen to you?

If you're a willing cog in the vast machinery of work, it's entirely possible that the things that occur all day feel like they're being done to you.

The alternative is to create a job where you create forward motion, where you do things to the job, not the other way around.

Take a look at the language you use to describe what happened at work yesterday, that's your first clue. If you're not the one creating the change, perhaps it's time to start.

« December 2009 | Main | February 2010 »