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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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« October 2012 | Main | December 2012 »

You can't argue with success...

Of course you can. What else are you going to argue with? Failure can't argue with you, because it knows that it didn't work.

The art of staying successful is in being open to having the argument. Great organizations fail precisely because they refuse to do this.

Where do you go to trade in the points?

There are all sorts of actions we can take to earn points. We can earn points with our spouse, with a boss, with a customer... "Wow, you get extra points for that."

The question one might ask is, "what good are the points?" Hey, I'm earning all these points, what am I supposed to do with them?

When it comes to trading them in, they're actually a little like frequent flier miles. They're really difficult to redeem, even for an upgrade you'd like. Hardly worth the effort, it seems.

But for this kind of points, that's okay. The best part of earning points is earning them, not trading them in.

Avoiding the false proxy trap

Sometimes, we can't measure what we need, so we invent a proxy, something that's much easier to measure and stands in as an approximation.

TV advertisers, for example, could never tell which viewers would be impacted by an ad, so instead, they measured how many people saw it. Or a model might not be able to measure beauty, but a bathroom scale was a handy stand in.

A business person might choose cash in the bank as a measure of his success at his craft, and a book publisher, unable to easily figure out if the right people are engaging with a book, might rely instead on a rank on a single bestseller list. One last example: the non-profit that uses money raised as a proxy for difference made.

You've already guessed the problem. Once you find the simple proxy and decide to make it go up, there are lots of available tactics that have nothing at all to do with improving the very thing you set out to achieve in the first place. When we fall in love with a proxy, we spend our time improving the proxy instead of focusing on our original (more important) goal instead.

Gaming the system is never the goal. The goal is the goal.

To protect and serve

How much of your time and effort goes into protecting yourself from the things you fear?

And how much is spent serving your muse and your tribe and your potential?

How I broke my nose (for the second time)

The first time was youthful bravery--I was playing hockey with people far better than I (not older, merely better) and they slammed me into the boards. That's something almost heroic, at least when you're twelve.

No, the second time was two days ago. I finished a delightful breakfast with a friend and as I walked out of the restaurant, I focused on the door to the street and the weather outside--and completely ignored the interior plate glass door, slamming right into it at full speed.

The important lesson: while it matters a lot that you have a goal, a vision and an arc to get there, it matters even more that you don't skip the preliminary steps in your hurry to get to the future. Early steps might bore you, but miss even one and you might not get the chance to execute on the later ones.

My nose is fine, thanks, better every day, but the reminder was a worthwhile one.

The whiner's room

When my friend Elly taught in a middle school, he never hung out in the teacher's room. He told me he couldn't bear the badmouthing of students, the whining and the blaming.

Of course, not all teachers are like this. In fact, most of them aren't. And of course, trolling isn't reserved to the teacher's room. Just about every organization, every online service, every product and every element of our culture now has chat rooms and forums devoted to a few people looking for something to complain about. Some of them even do it on television.

The fascinating truth is this: the people in these forums aren't doing their best work. They rarely identify useful feedback or pinpoint elements that can be changed productively either. In fact, if you solved whatever problem they're whining about, they wouldn't suddenly become enthusiastic contributors. No, they're just wallowing in the negative ions, enjoying the support of a few others as they dish about what's holding them back.

It pays no dividends to go looking for useful insight from these folks. Go make something great instead.

Why vote? The marketing dynamics of apathy

Here's what political marketers learn from people who don't vote:

Nothing.

If you don't vote because you're disappointed with your choices, disgusted by tactics like lying and spin, or merely turned off by the process, you've opted out of the marketplace.

The goal of political marketers isn't to get you to vote. Their goal is to get more votes than the other guy. So they obsess about pleasing those that vote. Everyone else is invisible.

Steakhouses do nothing to please vegetarians who don't visit them, and politicians and their handlers don't care at all about non-voters.

The magic of voting is that by opting in to the system, you magically begin to count. A lot.

If you don't like negative ads, for example, then vote for the candidate who ran even 1% fewer negative ads. Magically, within a cycle or two, the number of negative ads begins to go down.

One reason that people don't vote (a real, usually unspoken reason) is that they don't want to feel responsible for the person who wins. The other reason is that they don't want to live with the disappointment of voting for someone who loses. Both of these reasons ignore the marketing reality: not voting doesn't make marketing or politics go away. It merely changes the person the marketers are trying to please.

Vote tomorrow. Bring a friend. If enough smart people start voting again, things will improve, because billions of dollars in political marketing will suddenly be trying to please you.

Bad performance, good performance and the other two kinds

In the industrial age, the boss defines a good job as one that meets spec. If you do what you are told, on time and on budget, it's a good job.

A bad job, then, is one that requires repair or rescheduling or produces a shoddy output.

In the connection economy, the post-industrial age we're moving into now, there are two other kinds of work worth mentioning:

A remarkable performance is one that exceeds expectations so much that we talk about it. (Remarkable, as in worth making a remark about). In just about every field, it's possible to be remarkable, at least for a while, and thanks to the increasing number of connections between and among customers, remarkable work spreads your idea.

It's difficult to be remarkable every day in every way, though, because expectations continue to rise. Which leads to a fourth category:

A personal performance.

A good job is largely anonymous and forgotten (but still important). A personal job, on the other hand, is humanized. It brings us closer together. It might not be remarkable, but it stands out as memorable because (however briefly) the recipient of the work was touched by someone else. Often, remarkable work is personal too, but personal might just be enough for today.

The best way to get unstuck

Don't wait for the right answer and the golden path to present themselves.

This is precisely why you're stuck. Starting without seeing the end is difficult, so we often wait until we see the end, scanning relentlessly for the right way, the best way and the perfect way.

The way to get unstuck is to start down the wrong path, right now.

Step by step, page by page, interaction by interaction. As you start moving, you can't help but improve, can't help but incrementally find yourself getting back toward your north star.

You might not end up with perfect, but it's significantly more valuable than being stuck.

Don't just start. Continue. Ship. Repeat.

"The best you can hope for..."

isn't.

[the reaction to this post surprised me. It's a bit of a Rorschach test, I guess. What I wrote was that we can/should hope for more and expect more and yearn for more, that we shouldn't accept false limitations. Some people misread it to mean that you probably won't get what you hope for. Alas, the price of brevity. If you re-read it, I hope you'll see what I was aiming for...]

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