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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.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:


THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin




All Marketers Are Liars Blog




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Member since 08/2003

« September 2012 | Main | November 2012 »

I've been remaindered

The true story of the Seth Godin Action Figure: [Update: they may be all gone by the time you read this, sorry...]

It's a joke. But it's a real product, with tongue in cheek.

It was all for charity (the Acumen Fund gets all my royalties). An old interview with all the details here, including narwhals.

Years and years ago, I suggested this project to my friends at Archie McPhee because they're brilliant and funny and I'm jealous of what they do all day. And they (after six months of trying to persuade other, better authors to say yes) agreed.

And now, years later, after thousands of these little guys were sold, we come to the end of the line. Action figures are falling out of favor, they say, and they need to make room for bacon mints and flying pigs. And there's only a thousand left. Is your dashboard bereft? Here's your chance.

You can get yours for about half price! Just type in the discount code: pokethebox when you order (they tell me this is only for US orders).

Thanks, guys. Archie McPhee made me small, plastic, articulated and delighted, all at the same time. Now I know how Mr. Bill feels.

Civilization

Given how essential it is to every aspect of our life, we spend very little time talking about or celebrating the civilized society we live in.

If civilization is stability, kindness, safety, the arts and a culture that cherishes more than merely winning whatever game is being played, we live in a very special time. There are certainly more people living a civilized life today than ever before in history. (And we still have a long way to go).

Given the opportunity, people almost always move from a place that's less civilized to one that's more civilized. Given the resources, we invest them creating an environment where we can be around people and events that we admire and enjoy. We move to places and cultures where we are trusted and where we are expected to do our share in return.

And yet...

There are always shortcuts available. Sometimes it seems like we should spend less money taking care of others, less time producing beauty, less effort doing the right thing--so we can have more stuff. Sometimes we're encouraged that every man should look out for himself, and that selfishness is at the heart of a productive culture. In the short run, it's tempting indeed to trade in a part of civilized humanity to get a little more for ourselves at the end of the day. And it doesn't work.

We don't need more stuff. We need more civilization. More respect and more dignity. We give up a little and get a lot.

The people who create innovations, jobs, culture and art of all forms have a choice about where and how they do these things. And over and over, they choose to do it in a society that's civilized, surrounded by people who provide them both safety and encouragement. I'm having trouble thinking of a nation (or even a city) that failed because it invested too much in taking care of its people and in creating a educated, civil society.

Your customers and your co-workers might be attracted to a Black Thursday rush for bargains and a dog-eat-dog approach to winning whatever game it is you're offering. But they come back because you respect them and give them a platform to be their best selves.

Beauty vs. specs

There are two kinds of users/creators/customers/pundits.

Some can't understand why a product or service doesn't catch on. They can prove that it's better. They can quote specs and performance and utility. It's obvious.

The other might be willing to look at the specs, but he really doesn't understand them enough to care. All he knows is that the other choice is beautiful--it makes him feel good. He wants to use it.

Acura vs. Lexus, Dell vs. Apple, New Jersey vs. Bali...

You can have both specs and beauty, of course, but only if you work at it.

Fighting with vs. fighting for

When there's a change in your tribe or your organization or your trusted circle, you face two choices:

You can fight with the person creating the change, push back against them and defend the status quo.

Or you can fight for the person, double down on the cause, the tribe and the relationship, and refocus your efforts on making things work even better than they did before the change.

They're similar emotions and efforts, but they lead to very different outcomes.

Useful and believable promises

That's another way to think about marketing.

We only sign up/pay attention to/pay for offers from marketers when:

What's promised is something we think is worth more than it costs

and

We believe you're the best person to keep that promise.

This applies to resumes, meetings and even the kid raking your lawn.

If your marketing isn't working, it's either because your promises aren't useful (and big) enough or we don't believe you're the one to keep them.

Now in a handy audio format

A few months ago, I promised to record and release highlights from the three day startup session that I ran. Thanks to Jeff at Earwolf, here it is. Not flashy, but if you want to invest the time, I am hoping you'll learn some new ways to think about your project.

And, for a shorter, punchier, more visual hour, here is my This is Broken talk from the Gel conference a few years ago.

Enjoy.

Cycle worse, cycle better

The downward spiral is all too familiar. A drinking problem leads to a job lost, which leads to more drinking. Poor customer service leads customers to choose other vendors, which of course leads to less investment in customer service, which continues the problem.

Your boss has a temper tantrum because he's stressed about his leadership abilities. The tantrum undermines his relationship with his peers, which of course makes him more stressed and he becomes more likely to have another tantrum. An employee is disheartened because of negative feedback from a boss, which leads to less effort, which of course leads to more negative feedback.

Most things that go wrong, go wrong slowly.

The answer isn't to look for the swift and certain solution to the long-term problem. The solution is to replace the down cycle with the up cycle.

The (too common, obvious, simple) plan is to live with the cycle that caused the problem instead ("When I get stressed, I freeze up, so I need to figure out how to avoid getting stressed"). The simple plan puts the onus on the outside world to stop contributing the input that always leads to the negative output. That's just not going to work very well.

The more difficult but more effective alternative is to become aware of the down cycle. Once you find it, understand what triggers it and then learn to use that trigger to initiate a different cycle.

"This is my down cycle. What will it cost me to replace it with a different one? Who can help me? What do I need to learn? How do I change my habits and my instincts?"

This works for organizations as well as individuals. The fish restaurant that as sales go down, borrows money to buy ever fresher fish instead of cutting corners that will lead nowhere good. Or the ad agency the follows a client loss not with layoffs, but with hiring of even better creative staff.

Slowing sales might lead to more investment with customer service, not less. Decreased grades might lead to more time spent on enthusiastic studying, not less.

This is incredibly difficult. But identifying the down cycle and investing in replacing it with the up cycle is the one and only best strategy. The alternative, which is to rationalize and defend the cycle as a law of nature or permanent habit, is tragic.

The curious imperative

Now that information is ubiquitous, the obligation changes. It's no longer okay to not know.

If you don't know what a word means, look it up.

If you're meeting with someone, check them out in advance.

If it sounds too good to be true, Google it before you forward it.

If you don't know what questions to ask your doctor, find them before your appointment.

If it's important, do your homework.

I confess that I'm amazed when I meet hard-working, smart people who are completely clueless about how their industry works, how their tools work...

It never made sense to be proud of being ignorant, but we're in a new era now. Look it up.

The curse of incremental improvement

In an industrial, competitive culture, most things are just barely good enough.

Cell phone calls, if they were any worse, would be unusable. MP3 files sound not nearly as good as they could. Car mileage goes up, but really slowly. When something makes a huge leap (like the iPad did), it's headline news, because it's so rare.

The market will switch to a competitor when the competitor is just good enough to warrant switching (I know that's obvious, but it's worth stating). As a result, R&D departments ship a product out the door the moment it is just barely good enough to grab enough share to pay for itself. The thought of, for example, working on the CD for six more months before declaring it 'done' would have been considered short-term economic stupidity. As a result, we are saddled with thirty years of sub-par music--if they'd just held on a bit longer, it would all sound so much better.

The challenge kicks in for the individual or organization who thinks what they've launched is just barely good enough--and it's not. Prematurely declaring that it's done means that your incremental improvement doesn't seem important to anyone else. And so you flop.

Better to make it better than it needs to be.

Get the listing

Most successful (and honest) real estate agents will tell you that their business is about the listings, and that sales ability comes second. All other things being equal, the agent with a better home to sell will make a better sale. 

The same thing is true for baseball managers—if you have a better lineup you're more likely to win the game. And of course that's true for the sushi restaurant with fresher fish. And the tech company with better programmers, and the college with better professors...

If this is all so obvious, why do we spend all our time trying to find cheap average inputs and then make them special through our magnificent sales and management skills? Why do we industrialize the hiring process, spend very little time on scouting, and seek out the replicatable instead of the special exception? Our ego demands that we spend all day polishing the average instead of seeking out the exceptional.

Better to invest the time and money on special people and raw materials instead.

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