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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

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free.prize.inside

Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow

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linchpin

Linchpin

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

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meatball.sundae

Meatball Sundae

Why the internet works (and doesn't) for your business. And vice versa.

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permission.marketing

Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.

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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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purple.cow

Purple Cow

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

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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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the.big.moo

The Big Moo

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

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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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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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Member since 08/2003

Analytics without action

Don't measure anything unless the data helps you make a better decision or change your actions.

If you're not prepared to change your diet or your workouts, don't get on the scale.

Experiencing something other than the prevailing system

Sandeep points us to 'Signs', a restaurant in Toronto where every waiter is deaf and the only way to order is with ASL.

This isn't a tourist attraction or merely a remarkable gimmick. What it does is reverse systemic bias by requiring paying customers to adapt to a system that isn't of their choosing. If you want to eat here, you need to play by a different set of rules.

The original reason for systemic biases is usually benign. "Most people" can't use this, or most people don't look like you or most people won't benefit. Over time, though, the bias in favor of most people becomes more ingrained, and often serves as a barrier to change, reinforcing the power of the dominant group.

I'm well aware that much of what I create is difficult to engage with for people with certain disabilities or cultural backgrounds. And the dynamics of the market often mean that this standard is maintained, usually longer than it needs to be. Signs is a beautiful reminder that we need to actively re-think some of the paradigms about race, gender and disability that we've assumed are normal.

It's extremely unlikely that many other restaurants will hire waiters capable of understanding sign language. For me, the breakthrough here is permitting us, even for a little while, to understand what people who aren't 'most people' or aren't like those in power, have to accept in order to engage with the systems that have been built. 

Is authenticity authentic?

Perhaps the only truly authentic version of you is just a few days old, lying in a crib, pooping in your pants.

Ever since then, there's been a cultural overlay, a series of choices, strategies from you and others about what it takes to succeed in this world (in your world).

And so it's all invented.

When you tell me that it would be authentic for you to do x, y or z, my first reaction is that nothing you do is truly authentic, it's all part of a long-term strategy for how you'll make an impact in the world.

I'll grant you that it's essential to be consistent, that people can tell when you shift your story and your work in response to whatever is happening around you, and particularly when you say whatever you need to say to get through the next cycle. But consistency is easier to talk about and measure than authenticity is.

The question, then, is what's the impact you seek to make, what are the changes you are working for? And how can you achieve that and still do work you're proud of?

Short term, long term

The best way to change long-term behavior is with short-term feedback.

The opposite is not true. We rarely change short-term behavior with long-term feedback.

That's why sanctions rarely work well in international politics, and why cigarette taxes are the best way to keep people from getting lung cancer.

Sure, intelligent adults should be smart enough to figure out the net present value of a lifetime of cigarette purchases, plus the long-term health costs. And some are. But not enough.

And students should be smart enough to realize that extra effort and expense in college might pay off in income or happiness in a few decades. And some are. But not enough.

If you want to reward (or punish) short-term behavior, don't do it down the road. Advances turn more heads than royalty streams do. 

Pleasing a person who is not in the room

One reason organizations slow and stumble is that teams of well-meaning people form committees and go to meetings, determined to please the boss. 

What they do, instead, is assume that the boss is far more conservative than she actually is. They buff off the edges, dilute the goodness and quench their curiosity. They churn out another version of what's already there, because they're imagining the most risk-averse version of their boss is in the room with them.

It's the boss's job to continually ask, "is this the most daring vision of your work?"

A bigger logo?

The original reason for brands was to let the buyer know the source of the goods. "We made this," says the organization we trust when we buy something.

Over time, though, brands have evolved into something we want other people to see, not just us. "I bought this," says the person who wears or drinks or drives something with status.

The essence of a brand with social juice, of one that matters as a label, isn't how big the logo is. No, what matters is that the buyer thinks the brand is important, and that the logo is a signifier that they're paying for.

So no one complains that the logo on the wine bottle is not in tiny 18 point type, or that the BMW convertible has 8 or 9 or 14 logos on it, or that we can tell it's a Harley just from the sound it makes driving down the street.

If you are angling to make your logo bigger but your customers don't care (or resist), if your customers aren't eager to say, "I bought this," then you're doing the wrong angling. The work that needs to be done is to create a product and a story that makes your customers want you to make the logo more prominent.

Trading favors

Those people who owe you—because you mowed their lawn, drove carpool, promoted their site, gave them advice, listened to you in the middle of the night—they will probably let you down.

Favors aren't for trading, they wear out, they fade away, they are valued differently by the giver and the receiver.

No, the best favors are worth doing for the doing, not because we'll ever get paid back appropriately.

This is ours

Last night on the bike path I passed a well-dressed citizen, walking along with a bottle of water. I was stunned to see him finish his water and hurl the bottle into the woods.

I stopped and said, "Hey, please don't do that."

He looked at me with complete surprise and said, "what?" as if he didn't understand what 'that' was. His conception of the world seemed to be that there was two kinds of stuff... his and not-his. The park wasn't his, so it was just fine to throw trash, in fact, why not?

The challenge we have in the connection economy, in a world built on ever more shared resources and public digital spaces is that some people persist in acting like it belongs to someone else. When they spit in the pool or troll anonymously, when they spam or break things, it's as if they're doing it to someone else, or to the man.

Too often, we accept this vandalism as if it's a law of nature, like dealing with the termites that will inevitably chew exposed wood on a house's foundation. It doesn't have to be this way. Over and over, we see that tribes and communities and organizations are able to teach people that this is ours, that it's worth taking care of and most of all, that people like us care for things like this.

The easy ride

We know what you want to accomplish. We know how you'd like everything to turn out.

The real question is, "what are you willing to push through the dip for?" What are you willing to stand up for, bleed for, commit to and generally be unreasonable about?

Because that's what's going to actually get done.

Doing the hard things

One model of organization is to find something that you're good at and that's easy and straightforward and get paid for that.

The other model is to seek out things that are insanely difficult and do those instead.

Dave Ramsey does a three hour radio show every day. He books theaters and has a traveling road show. He has the discipline to only publish a new book quite rarely, and to stick with it for years and years as it moves through the marketplace. He has scores of employees. And on and on. By doing hard work that others fear, he creates unique value.

Rick Toone makes guitars that others would never attempt. Rollin Thurlow does the same with canoes.

Henry Ford did the same thing with the relentless scale and efficiency he built at Ford. Others couldn't imagine raising their own sheep to make their own wool to make their own seat fabric...

"How do we do something so difficult that others can't imagine doing it?" is a fine question to ask today.