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SETH'S BOOKS

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

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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

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IN STORES:

linchpin

Linchpin

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

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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.

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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.

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IN STORES:

purple.cow

Purple Cow

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

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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.

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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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IN STORES:

the.big.moo

The Big Moo

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

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IN STORES:

the.big.red.fez

The Big Red Fez

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

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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.

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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.

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tribes

Tribes

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

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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.

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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

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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« October 2010 | Main | December 2010 »

Arrogance is a bug in signal processing

We care a lot about finding people who are brilliant, who get things done, who make a difference. We care a lot about finding a playwright with talent, a surgeon who can cure us, a programmer who can get the thing to work.

Along the way, many of the linchpins who are able to do work like this develop affectations, quirks and even obnoxious qualities. They might demand an over-equipped dressing room or a private jet or merely be a jerk in meetings (or show up late, which is almost as bad).

We often put up with this, because, after all, they're superstars, right?

Somewhere along the way, we confused the signals with the work. Now there are people who start with the bad behavior and the affectations, hoping that it will be seen as a sign of insight and talent. And they often get away with it. "Who's that?" we wonder... "I don't know, but they must be good at what they do, because why else would we put up with them?" It's a great plan when it works, but I don't think it's a strategy to be counted on.

The key to getting a reputation for being brilliant is actually being brilliant, not just acting like you are.

Crunchy

The term 'crunchy granola' has been shortened to crunchy, a term used to describe people who willingly alter their lifestyle to make less of an impact on the environment. It's crunchy to give up your car for a bike, or to use mesh companies or to become vegan.

I wonder what happens if we broaden the term to describe someone who changes their lifestyle for a job or a brand or a passion? "Eric is getting really crunchy about his job at Microsoft... he even gave up his iPad." Or perhaps, "Cheryl is crunchy about Vuitton... it's all she wears."

Does success for you depend on creating crunchiness among your customers and fans?

The bright line of small differences

Is there a schism between the folks who love color tattoos and those that like black & white ones? Or the fans of the original Star Trek who hate the folks who like the far inferior newer Star Trek models?

Freud noticed it too.

Here's why it happens:

First, you have to care. When people care about a brand or a cause or an idea, it's likely that have other things in common. And the caring causes them to invest attention. Once they've done that, they can't help but notice that others don't see things the way they do. We ignore the great unwashed and reserve our disdain for those like us, that care like us, but don't see things as we do.

The really good news is that the tribe cares. If you don't have that, you've got nothing of value. In fact, the squabbling among people who care is the first sign you're on to something. [HT to Joel].

Why we prefer live

There are at least three reasons why someone might pay five or ten or a hundred times more to see a concert than the CD costs (not to mention the value difference: you can listen to the download again and again but the live gig is gone forever):

  • There are people around you, fellow travelers, magnetic energy, shared joy.
  • Something might go wrong. The artist is like a tightrope walker, taking big chances and the drama it creates is engrossing.
  • You might be surprised. Something new and wonderful might happen and it might jar you awake.

And yet, people in the 'live' business--restaurants, people doing presentations, the concierge at the hotel--often work hard to avoid getting anywhere near any of the three.

Worth a thousand words

Lifecoach

The next frontier in personal coaching. No need to spend time describing your problem.

Newtown

I can't decide which is sillier--the obviously fake photo (She used to be fat? Those are her jeans?) or the juxtaposition of the banner with the wall.

Energybar

And this is the secret of lowering your handicap. The box says the bar on the right is for the back nine. My question is: what if you eat them in the wrong order?

Hire an architect

Architects don't manufacture nails, assemble windows or chop down trees. Instead, they take existing components and assemble them in interesting and important ways.

It used to be that if you wanted to build an organization, you had to be prepared to do a lot of manufacturing and assembly--of something. My first internet company had 60 or 70 people at its peak... and today, you could run the same organization with six people. The rest? They were busy building an infrastructure that now exists. Restaurants used to be built by chefs. Now, more than ever, they're built by impresarios who know how to tie together real estate, promotion, service and chefs into a package that consumers want to buy. The difficult part isn't installing the stove, the difficult (and scarce) part is telling a story.

I'm talking about intentionally building a structure and a strategy and a position, not focusing your energy on the mechanics, because mechanics alone are insufficient. Just as you can't build a class A office building with nothing but a skilled carpenter, you can't build a business for the ages that merely puts widgets into boxes.

My friend Jerry calls these people corporate chiropractors. They don't do surgery, they realign and recognize what's out of place.

Organizational architects know how to find suppliers, use the cloud (of people, of data, of resources), identify freelancers, tie together disparate resources and weave them into a business that scales. You either need to become one or hire one.

The organizations that matter are busy being run by people who figure out what to do next.

No knight, no shining armor

"Sure, Seth can do that, because he has a popular blog."

Some people responded to my decision to forgo traditional publishers (not traditional books, btw) by pointing out that I can do that because I have a way of reaching readers electronically.

What they missed is that this asset is a choice, not an accident.

Does your project depend on a miracle, a bolt of lightning, on being chosen by some arbiter of who will succeed? I think your work is too important for you to depend on a lottery ticket. In some ways, this is the work of the Resistance, an insurance policy that gives you deniability if the project doesn't succeed. "Oh, it didn't work because we didn't get featured on that blog, didn't get distribution in the right store, didn't get the right endorsement..."

There's nothing wrong with leverage, no problem at all with an unexpected lift that changes everything. But why would you build that as the foundation of your plan?

The magic of the tribe is that you can build it incrementally, that day by day you can earn the asset that will allow you to bring your work to people who want it. Or you can skip that and wait to get picked. Picked to be on Oprah or American Idol or at the cash register at Borders.

Getting picked is great. Building a tribe is reliable, it's hard work and it's worth doing.

Oxygen for ideas

Matt has a masterful post up about what it means to ship. Until your idea interacts with the market, you're suffocating it. Worth printing out and posting on the watercooler...

The feedback I'm getting from the Shipit journal is that it changes people, makes them uncomfortable and gets things out the door. If you're hiding from the market, it's difficult to do great work.

Seeking market resonance

If you've ever wasted time at a catered affair, you know the water glass trick. Half full glass, wet finger, hold the bottom of the glass and then slide your finger around and around the top of the glass.

As you move your finger, the glass will vibrate. Move it just right (a function of the amount of water and the thickness of the glass) and the glass starts to sing. Do it really well and it sings so loud you might be able to shatter the glass and get into all sorts of trouble.

This is what most marketers seek (not the trouble part, the singing part).

The market awaits your innovation. Things that might make it vibrate and resonate don't work. Then some do. It's not always obvious before you start what the right entry point is, what the right product is, what the right speed is. And knowing that you don't know is the most important place to start.

Honing your music or your presentation or your business plan or your store's inventory are all efforts to resonate. Smart marketers are hyper-alert for what's working, for what's starting to get people to prick  their ears. Just like the glass, you have a touch, you adjust, you listen, you adjust again.

"I don't have any good ideas"

Now I know you're bluffing.

First, everyone has good ideas. Maybe not as fast or as often as others, but are you telling me that in your entire life, you've never had one good idea? Ever?

Second, and way more telling, what happens if I give you a good idea. Here. Take it. Now what? You have it, right?

Now you need to find a second reason for not making things happen. "I don't have enough time." "I can't get the resources." "I'm not sure, really sure, guaranteed, that this is a good idea." "My boss won't let me."

And so the lizard brain speaks up, and so the cycle continues, and so the Resistance wins.

There are more good ideas, right here, right now, for free, than ever before. More opportunities to connect and lead and make a difference and an impact and a living. Fewer guarantees, sure, but more ideas.

It's your choice about whether or not you do anything with them, but please don't tell me you don't have any good ideas.

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