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SETH'S BOOKS

Seth Godin has written 12 bestsellers that have been translated into 33 languages

The complete list of online retailers

Bonus stuff!

or click on a title below to see the list

all.marketers.tell.stories

All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

free.prize.inside

Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

linchpin

Linchpin

An instant bestseller, the book that brings all of Seth's ideas together.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

meatball.sundae

Meatball Sundae

Why the internet works (and doesn't) for your business. And vice versa.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

permission.marketing

Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

poke.the.box

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.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

purple.cow

Purple Cow

The worldwide bestseller. Essential reading about remarkable products and services.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

small.is.the.new.big

Small is the New Big

A long book filled with short pieces from Fast Company and the blog. Guaranteed to make you think.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

survival.is.not.enough

Survival is Not Enough

Seth's worst seller and personal favorite. Change. How it works (and doesn't).

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.big.moo

The Big Moo

All for charity. Includes original work from Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters and Promise Phelon.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.big.red.fez

The Big Red Fez

Top 5 Amazon ebestseller for a year. All about web sites that work.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.dip

The Dip

A short book about quitting and being the best in the world. It's about life, not just marketing.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.icarus.deception

The Icarus Deception

Seth's most personal book, a look at the end of the industrial economy and what happens next.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

tribes

Tribes

"Book of the year," a perennial bestseller about leading, connecting and creating movements.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

unleashing.the.ideavirus

Unleashing the Ideavirus

More than 3,000,000 copies downloaded, perhaps the most important book to read about creating ideas that spread.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

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.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

we.are.all.weird

We Are All Weird

The end of mass and how you can succeed by delighting a niche.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

whatcha.gonna.do.with.that.duck

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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THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin




All Marketers Are Liars Blog




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« January 2010 | Main | March 2010 »

Moving the line (the power of a zealot)

Extremists move the middle.

Compromise is everywhere. Most of us can't possibly be pure extremists or true fundamentalists, so we draw the line somewhere in the middle.

Consider the choice of what you eat (or don't eat). It ranges from the omnivore at one end to the fruitarian at the other:

Cannibal... chimps... dogs... cats... cows... pigs... foie gras... chickens... fish... unfertilized eggs... honey... yeast... cherries... dust

My guess is that few people care so little about their role in the food chain that they're willing to eat humans (one end of the spectrum), and there are very few strict fruitarians out there (but I've never met someone who wouldn't eat yeast). Most of us draw a line somewhere between the extremes. That means we're already compromising, we just argue about how much.

Consider government:

Karl Marx... Maoist... socialist... progressive... fiscal conservative... libertarian... Ayn Rand

Again, I don't think that many people would be happy at all living at either end of the spectrum above, so we each draw a line. It's ad hoc, it's based on our community, but we pick it and then magically, we stick with it. Not just stick with our ad hoc line, but argue about it, defend it and get angry about it.

Private jet... fried baby seals... SUV...'organic' dry cleaning... Prius... bicycle... localvore... burlap sacks... No impact man

It's interesting to note that an enormous amount of apparently principled argument goes on about relatively tiny movements in where the line is being drawn. In most cases, to paraphrase an old joke, "we've already figured out what sort of girl you are, now we're just arguing about the price." It's not the principle, in fact, it's just the degree of compromise we're comfortable with and content to argue over.

And so it's left to the zealots. The people at either end have little hope of moving the masses all the way to their end of the argument. Instead, what they do is make it feel safer to change the boundaries, safer to recalibrate the compromise. Over time, as the edges feel more palatable, the masses are more likely to be willing to edge their way closer to one edge or another. Successful zealots don't argue to win. They argue to move the goalposts and to make it appear sane to do so.

Jacqueline Novogratz on recognizing a linchpin

Jacqueline Novogratz on how to recognize a linchpin.

more, More, MORE!

Some consumers are short-sighted, greedy and selfish.

Extend yourself a little and they'll want a lot.

Offer a free drink in the restaurant one night and they're angry that it's not there the next.

The nuts in first class weren't warm!

The challenge of winning more than your fair share of the market is that the best available strategy--providing remarkable service and an honest human connection--will be abused by a few people you work with.

You have three choices: put up with the whiners, write off everyone, or, deliberately exclude the ungrateful curs.

Firing the customers you can't possibly please gives you the bandwidth and resources to coddle the ones that truly deserve your attention and repay you with referrals, applause and loyalty.

The best reason for a big event...

is being big. Nah, HUGE. Ordinary big isn't good enough any more.

Big events, grand openings, national events that just can't be missed. These work (if they're big enough).

Big events, if they're truly big, change the rhythm and demand a different sort of attention and preparation. We can push through the dip, expend emotional labor and do things we never thought we'd be able to do if there's a charette and a deadline and an audience.

Human beings respond to emergencies and to hoopla. We like doing what others are doing, and we'll suspend social disbelief if we're being carried along by the pack (or the mob).

The challenge comes when we institutionalize the event and make it normal.

If you're going to have an event, better make it big. Or even bigger than that. It needs to be awe-inspiring, frightening, on deadline and worth losing sleep over.

No more big events

Here are things that you can now avoid:

  • The annual review
  • The annual sales conference
  • The big product launch
  • The grand opening of a new branch
  • Drop dead one-shot negotiation events

The reasons? Well, they don't work. They don't work because big events leave little room for iteration, for trial and error, for earning rapport. And the biggest reason: frequent cheap communication is easier than ever, and if you use it, you'll discover that the process creates far more gains than events ever can.

How to use clichés

I love this definition from Wikipedia:

In printing, a cliché was a printing plate cast from movable type. This is also called a stereotype. When letters were set one at a time, it made sense to cast a phrase used repeatedly as a single slug of metal. "Cliché" came to mean such a ready-made phrase. The French word “cliché” comes from the sound made when the matrix is dropped into molten metal to make a printing plate.

To save time and money, then, printers took common phrases and re-used the type.

Along the way, they trained us to understand the image, the analogy, the story. Hear it often enough and you remember it. That training has a useful purpose. Now, you can say 'Festivus' or 'There is no I in team..." or "that took real courage" when describing a golf shot, and we immediately get it. Monty Python took a cliché about the Spanish Inquisition and made it funny by making it real. The comfy chair!

The effective way to use a cliché is to point to it and then do precisely the opposite. Juxtapose the cliché with the unexpected truth of what you have to offer. Apple does this all the time. They point out the cliché of a laptop or a desktop or an MP3 player and then they turn it upside down. Richard Branson takes the expected boredom of a CEO and turns it upside down by doing things you don't expect.

I often use the Encyclopedia of Clichés to find clichés that then inspire opposites. It's a secret weapon and it's all yours now. Have fun.

Viral growth trumps lots of faux followers

Viralgrowth Many brands and idea promoters are in a hurry to rack up as many Facebook fans and Twitter followers as they possibly can. Hundreds of thousands if possible.

A lot of these fans and followers are faux. Sunny day friends. In one experiment I did, 200,000 followers led to 25 clickthroughs. Ouch.

Check out the graph on the left. The curves represent different ideas and different starting points. If you start with 10,000 fans and have an idea that on average nets .8 new people per generation, that means that 10,000 people will pass it on to 8000 people, and then 6400 people, etc. That's yellow on the graph. Pretty soon, it dies out.

On the other hand, if you start with 100 people (99% less!) and the idea is twice as good (1.5 net passalong) it doesn't take long before you overtake the other plan.  (the green). That's not even including the compounding of new people getting you people.

But wait! If your idea is just a little more viral, a 1.7 passalong, wow, huge results. Infinity, here we come. That's the purple (of course.)

A slightly better idea defeats a much bigger but disconnected user base every time.

The lesson: spend your time coming up with better ideas, not with more (faux) followers.

Invent a holiday

Find an emotion that needs social approval in order to be easily expressed.

Hook it into something you sell or do.

Discover other organizations that would benefit from the holiday as much as you would.

Voila! Mother's Day/Valentine's Day/Festivus/New Year's. It doesn't have to be a national one, of course, just one for your tribe.

All the great religious holidays started as secular or pagan holidays first, because they filled an essential social need. Spring is here! It's dark out!

And if your project/product/cause isn't worthy of a holiday? Time to find a new one.

Phoning it in

This was sort of shocking, at least to me:

I was talking to a religious leader, someone who runs a congregation. She made it clear to me that on many days, it's just a job. A job like any other, you show up, you go through the motions, you get paid.

I guess we find this disturbing because spiritual work should be real, not faked.

But isn't your work spiritual?

I know doctors, lawyers, waiters and insurance brokers who are honestly and truly passionate about what they do. They view it as an art form, a calling, and an important (no, an essential) thing worth doing.

In fact, I don't think there's a relationship between what you do and how important you think the work is. I think there's a relationship between who you are and how important you think the work is.

Life's too short to phone it in.

Friday Linchpin Bonus Video: Sunny Bates on passion, fear and balance

Sunny Bates on Linchpins, Passion and Fear. Part of a series.

« January 2010 | Main | March 2010 »