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WWW SETH'S BLOG

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.

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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.

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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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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

« March 2014 | Main | May 2014 »

Trapped by linkbait

After reading a magazine article by a freelancer, I clicked over to his blog. It was part of a bigger media site, and it contained more than a hundred articles.

Every single one of them was formulaic. The standard linkbait headline:

([Integer between 5 and 10] WAYS to [action verb like avoid or stumble or demolish] [juicy adjective like stupid or embarrassing or proven] [noun].)

Every article was edited to exactly the length thought to maximize page views and every single article was boring. Sometimes he got to end his headlines with a question mark, but that was the extent of the humanity involved.

Daily, this talented writer trades in his art for what feels like a job writing. But he's not writing, he's not building a following, he's not doing work that matters. He doesn't actually have a voice, he's doing piecework, work that will be replaced by someone else's output as soon as his boss can find someone cheaper.

He'd be way better off doing highly-paid work as a plumber for a few hours a day, and then doing real writing in his spare time.

Practice doesn't make perfect. Meaningful practice makes perfect, even if you don't get paid for it.

"How do I get rid of the fear?"

Alas, this is the wrong question.

The only way to get rid of the fear is to stop doing things that might not work, to stop putting yourself out there, to stop doing work that matters.

No, the right question is, "How do I dance with the fear?"

Fear is not the enemy. Paralysis is the enemy.

Saying 'thank you' in public, three times

Earlier this year, I launched two ongoing classes on Skillshare:

One is on the thinking necessary to invent and launch a new business

and the other is for marketers of all kinds.

I'm grateful to everyone who has posted a kind review, launched a useful new project or shared the course so far...

But mostly, I want to thank the people at Skillshare: the software does exactly what they promised, and they're kind and a delight to work with.

Yesterday, Typepad was assaulted by a DDOS attack that brought the service to its knees. The team there really rose to the occasion, communicated clearly and honestly and got this blog up and running quickly. I've had this blog hosted by them for a decade or so, and despite the cool kids telling me I have to move it, I like the fact that the software does just what they say and that they're kind and a delight to work with.

And finally, did you know that you can subscribe to this blog, for free, by email and RSS? The email is handled daily and flawlessly by Feedblitz. It does what it's supposed to, and Phil is kind and a pleasure to work with.

Sometimes, the biggest, flashiest, most annoying services aren't the best way to build something that works. I'm grateful to these organizations and those like them that show up regularly and make things work. Thanks.

They're your words, choose them

You've seen the signs:

ABSOLUTELY NO CREDIT CARDS.

NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LOST OR STOLEN ITEMS.

BATHROOMS FOR PATRONS ONLY.

Guess what? There's no legal requirement that signs have to make you sound like a harsh jerk in order to carry weight or to inform the public.

To keep our prices as low as possible, we only accept cash. The good news is that there's an ATM next door.

Careful! We'd like to watch your stuff for you, but we're busy making coffee.

Our spotlessly clean restrooms are for our beloved customers only, so come on in and buy something! Also, there's a public bathroom in the library down the street.

In fact, you might find that when you speak clearly and with respect, you not only communicate more effectively, but people are less likely to blame you when something goes wrong.

All the same

It's forty degrees out and there's a guy standing in front of the office building, shivering, indulging in his nicotine addiction. I can't possibly empathize with what he's thinking or feeling.

As I walk down the street, I pass an elderly woman in an electric wheelchair. Again, I have no idea what it is to be her.

And there, whipping around the corner in a fancy car, is an industrialist I recognize, someone with more employees, power and money than most of us would know what to do with.

It's easy to lump people together into categories, easier still to say, "I know how you feel." But we don't, we can't, and given the choice, people will choose to be the people they wish to be.

Mass markets were a shorthand forced on marketers who had too little time or information or leverage to treat different people differently. They are the result of the mass merchant, the mass media and mass production. But humans aren't a homogeneous mass, we are individuals, as individual as we dare to be.

Marketing and governance and teaching and coaching and writing are built on a foundation of 'everyone', but in fact, we'd rather be someone.

Treat different people differently. Anything else is a compromise.

The bottomless pit of pleasing strangers

You will never, ever run out of strangers.

And so, the goal of perfectly pleasing an infinite number of passersby is a fool's errand. They come with their own worldview, their own issues, their own biases.

Since they don't know you or trust you and don't get you, they're not inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt or invest what it takes to understand you.

Sure, some of them will applaud or smile or buy. And if that's your mission, have fun.

But perfection in stranger-pleasing? Not going to happen, not worth the journey.

For some people, some of the time, the only response is, "it's not for you."

The thing that happened before this

The most underrated scene in the Wizard of Oz is the hallway leading up to the audience with the great and powerful one.

One of the reasons that Oz is seen as being particularly great and powerful is that it's just so much trouble to get to see him--and that hallway is the perfect metaphor.

I still remember visiting a talent agency in Hollywood a decade ago. The lobby was far bigger than most people's homes, and it was totally empty, a long, long walk from the automatically opened door to the Centurion at the desk.

Contrast this with a doctor's office I recently visited. He was sharing space with a chiropractor, and the office was in the back of a grade B strip mall. Inside the waiting room were dozens of mimeographed signs (I didn't even think you could mimeograph stuff any more) offering weight loss schemes and warnings about what sorts of payment weren't accepted, and how it needed to be proffered immediately.

By all means, your work better be good, not a fraud, something worth paying for. But if the (metaphorical) hallway is a let down, it's an uphill battle to gain the confidence, trust and enthusiasm of your customers.

Connecting dots (or collecting dots)

Without a doubt, the ability to connect the dots is rare, prized and valuable. Connecting dots, solving the problem that hasn't been solved before, seeing the pattern before it is made obvious, is more essential than ever before.

Why then, do we spend so much time collecting dots instead? More facts, more tests, more need for data, even when we have no clue (and no practice) in doing anything with it.

Their big bag of dots isn't worth nearly as much as your handful of insight, is it?

Trust and attention, the endless dance

The two scarce elements of our economy are trust and attention.

Trust is scarce because it's not a simple instinct and it's incredibly fragile, disappearing often in the face of greed, shortcuts or ignorance.

And attention is scarce because it doesn't scale. We can't do more than one thing at a time, and the number of organizations and ideas that are competing for our attention grows daily.

The dance happens because often, it seems as though we need to trade trust in exchange for attention. We have to rely on gimmicks, or overpromise and hype in order to get people to, "look at me!" And of course, the dance happens because once attention is attained, asking for trust merely slows things down. The most viral ideas ask for nothing more than a click from your mouse, a share, more attention gained.

And so we find trusted brands and individuals rarely on the top of the attention list. And those that pay the price to grab some momentary attention almost always do it at the cost of trust.

The right moment

You might be waiting for things to settle down. For the kids to be old enough, for work to calm down, for the economy to recover, for the weather to cooperate, for your bad back to let up just a little...

The thing is, people who make a difference never wait for just the right time. They know that it will never arrive.

Instead, they make their ruckus when they are short of sleep, out of money, hungry, in the middle of a domestic mess and during a blizzard. Whenever.

As long as whenever is now.

« March 2014 | Main | May 2014 »