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Twitter: @thisissethsblog





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

« November 2012 | Main | January 2013 »

Design like Apple, but name like P&G

Apple's naming approach is inconsistent, it begs for lawsuits (offensive and defensive) and it shouldn't be the model for your organization. iPhone is a phone, iPad is a pad, iPod is a ... (and owning a letter of the alphabet is i-mpossible).

Procter and Gamble, on the other hand, has been doing it beautifully for a hundred years. Crisco, Tide, Pringles, Bounty, Duracell--these are fanciful names that turn the generic product (and the story we believe about it) into something distinct.

If you can invent an entire category, fabulous, that's an achievement. For the rest of us, resist the temptation to be boring or to be too aggressive. It's your name and you need to live with it.

[More on naming]

London, Boston and sharing your art (plus the new iphone app, it's free)

Tickets just went on sale for the Icarus event in London, organized by Penguin UK. It's during the evening on the 17th of January. I'll be talking about, reading from and doing Q&A about The Icarus Deception. You can get tickets here.

Also, tickets are now available for the Boston session on January 23rd at MIT. Find out more here.

All the early bird tickets for New York on January 2nd are gone, but there are still some other tickets remaining.

We now have more than 250 locations around the world established for the Icarus Sessions on the evening of January 2. Please find your city by clicking here. You can read about how it works right here. A few things to clarify:

1. You can attend the group sessions without presenting. 

2. It doesn't cost anything, unless the local organizer passes the hat to pay for rent or snacks.

3. It will inspire you. I hope you'll attend.

By popular demand, a fabulous new free iPhone app is now available for those that follow this blog. Click below to get your copy:

It was developed by Anderson+Spear in record time, with flair and grace. Well done, guys.

Bigger vs. better

It's not always one or the other, but sometimes the trade-off is unavoidable. It's clear that more is not always compatible with our other goals.

Like most choices, this one usually works better if you make it on purpose.

Industrialism and the death of agency

Agency is the ability to make a decision, and to be responsible for the decision you make.

Since there have been armies, society has made an exception for soldiers. A soldier following orders is not a murderer, as he doesn't have agency--society doesn't generally want its soldiers questioning orders from our generals.

But the industrial age has taken this absolution to ever-higher heights. Every worker in every job is given a pass, because he's just doing his job. The cigarette marketer or the foreman in the low-wage sweatshop... they're just doing their jobs.

This free pass is something that makes the industrial economy so attractive to many people. They've been raised to want someone else to be responsible for the what and the how, and they'd just like a job, thanks very much.

As the industrial company sputters and fades, there's a fork in the road. In one direction lies the opportunity to regain agency, to take responsibility for ever more of our actions and their effects. In the other direction is the race to the bottom, and the dehumanizing process of more compliance, a cog in an uncaring system.

Beggars can't be choosers

If you'd rather be a chooser, enter a market or a transaction where you have something to trade, something of value, something to offer that's difficult to get everywhere else. 

If all you have is the desire to get picked, that's not sufficient.

Cold reading

Psychics, advertisers and coaches work hard to create interactions that feel direct. They'd like you to think that their work is about you, (lots of people thought that the song was actually about them) that they know what you're thinking and what you want.

The tsunami of data available online makes this easier than ever. It's not hard to buy data, not only about your demographics, but about how you spend your time on the web.

Which means that it seems as though that site or this ad is just for you. What could be better?

The important distinction is this: the content might be for you, but it's not necessarily about you. Take what you need, but ignore the rest.

Too simple

If the explanations you're demanding for what works aren't working, perhaps it's because you're avoiding nuance in exchange for simplicity.

It would take Lee Clow far more than five minutes to explain how to design an ad that works. Clive Davis didn't have the words to tell you what would make a hit record. Even the ostensibly simple food of Alice Waters can't be easily copied by an amateur.

And yet your boss keeps asking you to explain your whole plan in three Powerpoint slides.

The VC who allocates one minute to understand why your business will work has done everyone no favors. The blog reader who clicks away after a paragraph wasted his time visiting at all. 

Skip the complicated, time-consuming part at your own risk. The cycle of test and failure works largely because it exposes us to nuance.

If it were obvious, everyone would do it. Wait, that's too simple. How about this: Nuance and subtlety aren't the exception in changing human behavior. They're the norm.

When everyone has access to the same tools

...then having a tool isn't much of an advantage.

The industrial age, the age of scarcity, depended in part on the advantages that came with owning tools others didn't own.

Time for a new advantage. It might be your network, the connections that trust you. And it might be your expertise. But most of all, I'm betting it's your attitude.

The Icarus Session in your town, plus live with me in New York

I'm trying something new and I hope you'll check it out.

At 7 pm (local time, wherever you are) on January 2nd, I'm inviting you and your peers, colleagues and friends to organize and attend an Icarus Session. You can find out the details at this link: Icarus Sessions. Read all the details to find the big picture and the link to sign up. Every city needs a volunteer organizer as well, and you can take the lead on the meetup site when you get there.

The short version: people volunteer to give a 140 second talk about what they're working on, creating or building, to do it with vulnerability, passion and generosity. And then to sit down and cheer on the next person.

Hundreds of cities, thousands of people, all connecting at the same time, around the world.

These are free, self-organized exchanges of bravery. A chance to find fellow travelers, artists and those making a ruckus and hear what they're passionate about. No pitching, no selling, but a 140-second confession of passion, fear and connection.

To kick it off, I'm hosting a live lecture, reading and session the afternoon of January 2nd in New York City. Details are right here. 

I'll be hosting future events in Boston, London and one or two other cities over the coming months. I'll announce some soon.

I can promise it'll be interesting, and it might just change your work.

Confusing lucky with good

This is why internet successes fade. This is why amateur salespeople so often fail to become professionals. This is why one-off sports analogy stories make no sense. Successful at the beginning blinds us to the opportunity to get really good instead of merely coasting.

The only thing more sad than the self-limiting arrogance of the confusion between lucky and good is the pathos of the converse: confusing ungood with unlucky.

Most people with a big idea, great talent and/or something to say don't get lucky at first. Or second. Or even third. It's so easy to conclude that if you're not lucky, you're not good. So persistence becomes an essential element of good, because without persistence, you never get a chance to get lucky.

« November 2012 | Main | January 2013 »