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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.

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

Question checklist for reviewing your new marketing materials...

For that new video, or that new brochure, or anything you create that you're hoping will change minds (and spread):

What's it for?
    When it works, will we be able to tell? What's it supposed to do?

Who is it for?
    What specific group or tribe or worldview is this designed to resonate with?

What does this remind you of?
    Who has used this vernacular before? Is it as well done as the previous one was?

What's the call to action?
    Is there a moment when you are clearly asking people to do something?

Show this to ten strangers. Don't say anything. What do they ask you?
    Now, ask them what the material is asking them to do.

What is the urgency?
    Why now?

Your job is not to answer every question, your job is not to close the sale. The purpose of this work is to amplify interest, generate interaction and spread your idea to the people who need to hear it, at the same time that you build trust.

You will rarely achieve this with one fell swoop, so be prepared to drip your way through countless swoops until you've earned the privilege of engaging with the audience you seek.

You are what you share

I have a friend who can always be counted on to have a great book recommendation handy. Another who can not only tell you the best available movie currently in theatres, but confidently stand behind his recommendations.

And some people are eager to share a link to an article or idea that's worth reading.

Most people, though, hesitate. "What if the other person doesn't like it..."

The fear of being judged is palpable, and the digital trail we leave behind makes it feel more real and more permanent. We live in an ever-changing culture, and that culture is changed precisely by the ideas we engage with and the ones we choose to share. 

Sharing an idea you care about is a generous way to change your world for the better.

The culture we will live in next month is a direct result of what people like us share today. The things we share and don't share determine what happens next.

As we move away from the top-down regime of promoted movies, well-shelved books and all sorts of hype, the recommendation from person to person is now the most powerful way we have to change things.

It takes guts to say, "I read this and you should too." The guts to care enough about our culture (and your friends) to move it forward and to stand for something.

We'll judge you most on whether you care enough to change things.

Getting unstuck (a one week challenge)

[UPDATE: You guys are amazing. Check out what's been posted (so far) ]

Winnie failed.

Winnie Kao, who has been leading special projects over the last few months in my office, has something to share. You can check it out here.

She's running a mutual support sprint to help people get on track (or back on track) with their habit of shipping. Here's how it works: Participants commit to posting 1 blog post every day for 7 days. The goal is to practice shipping with a like-minded community and to push yourself to simply start.

Check out her site and the video where Winnie explains the inspiration for the event and details on how to submit your posts. There'll be a Tumblr page featuring everyone's posts, a daily chat room at noon to connect, tweets with #YourTurnChallenge, and an audiostream broadcast at the end to celebrate. 

This is a chance to practice shipping for one week within a community. It might be hard but it’s doable and it might change you. I hope you'll give it a shot.

PS it works even if you haven't read my new book yet.

PPS of course, Winnie didn't fail at all. She's succeeding, because connecting, leading and doing the work are precisely what we all need to do.

Plyometrics

Explosive action. Training by jumping from a standing start. Not worrying about getting up to speed, but going from standing still to flight.

Not everyone needs to be good at this, but you can bet that most organizations need people who are.

Not, "I'll think about it," or, "I'll ask Susan what her take is," or, "Let's reconvene tomorrow..." but, instead, words like, "go," and "now."

Plyometrics is an attitude, the willingness (the bravery) to try things on small groups, in controlled situations, to say, "here, I made this."

It's not a slipshod way of doing business for your core customers (that's another form of hiding). No, it's the posture of urgency.

Will you leap?

Five thoughts on software

My first real job was making educational computer games--thirty years ago. In those days, we had to deal with floppy drives bursting into flame and hardware platforms that had a useful life of two years, not two decades. A lot has settled down, but there's a ton left to do.

1. I know you're not backing up often enough... no one does. But computers should be smart enough that you don't have to. I stopped backing up by using Dropbox instead. I keep every single data file in my dropbox, and it's automatically duplicated in the cloud, and then my backup computer (in the scheme of losing a week or more of work, a backup computer is a smart thing) has a mirror image of all my stuff.

2. Removing features to make software simpler doesn't always make it better. You could, for example, make a hammer simpler by removing the nail puller on the other side. But that makes a useful tool less useful.

The network effect, combined with the low marginal cost of software, means that there's a race to have 'everyone' use a given piece of software. And while that may make business sense, it doesn't always make a great tool. I'm glad that the guys who make Nisus chose powerful over popular.

The argument goes that making software powerful rarely pays off, because most users refuse to take the time to learn how to use it well. The violin and the piano, though, seem to permit us to create amazing music, if we care enough. The trick is to be both powerful and simple, which takes effort.

3. It's entirely possible to find great software that isn't from a huge company. Products like Sketch deserve a wide audience, and just as a successful market for indie music makes all music better, indie software is worth using (and paying for).

4. Paying for tools is a smart choice. If programs like Keynote and Mail.app were actually profit centers for Apple, I would imagine that we'd have far better support, fewer long-term bugs and and most of all, a vibrant, ongoing effort to make them better. (Not to mention neglected and abandoned services like Feedburner and Google Reader). 

The irony is that the first generation of PC software marketing was an endless cash grab, overpriced software that was updated too often, merely to generate upgrade fees to feed a behemoth. In the age of network effects, we swung too far in the direction of free software and the lack of care that sometimes comes with the beggars-can't-be-choosers mindset.

I wonder what happens if organizations that buy in bulk insist on buying software worth paying for?

5. Most of all, software as a whole just isn't good enough. There have been a few magical leaps in the evolution of software, products and operating systems that dramatically improved productivity and yes, joy among users. But given how cheap (compared to cars, building materials or appliances) it is to revamp and reinvent software, and how urgent it is to create tools that increase the quality of what we make, we're way too complacement.

Fix all bugs. Yes, definitely. But more important, restate the minimum standards for good enough to be a lot higher than they are.

We need better design, more rigor and most of all, higher aspirations for what our tools can do.

Average is just another word for mediocre

If you think your organization needs a bigger marketing budget, maybe you just need to be less average instead.

Failure imagined (24 variations)

Cancelled

Fired

Called out

Humiliated

Embarrassed

Crashed

Unfunded

Indicted though innocent

Typos found

Unappreciated

Late

Underbid

Found out

Outclassed

Defeated

Satired

Criticized

Out of cash

In debt

Underdressed

Out of tune

Underwhelmed

Out of your league

Unprepared

Feel free to avoid all of these things by doing nothing, by second guessing yourself, by being your own worst critic, always ready to describe the apocalypse waiting on just the other side of shipping.

Either that or you can risk the narrative and risk the fear and make a difference. 

Planning on resilience

That thing you're launching: what if it fails to function?

The challenge of doing something for a crowd in real time is that if it doesn't work, you're busted. You have no way to alert people, to spread out demand, to reprocess inquiries. 

Batch processes gives you a fallback. If the first printing is a little off, you can fix it in the second (if the first printing is small enough). When you know the email address of the people you're dealing with, for example, you can easily reroute people and change expectations. If you know how to contact the ticket holders, you can let them know in advance that the theater roof is under repair. You can fix things today and get them right for tomorrow without disappointing a mob of people in real time.

There's a huge difference between interacting with customers one at a time, one after another, and learning as you go, vs. interacting with everyone, all at once, in parallel.

The arrogance of most web launches (from hip new sites to healthcare signups) is that they assume that nothing will go wrong if they do it live. So they try to do it live for everyone, at once.

When someone you have no data on bounces, you have no way to ask them to come back.

The only part of a launch that should be live is the part that benefits from being live. Everything else ought to be in a batch, reserved, asynchronous and capable of recovery.

It's a journey, not an event, and working in asynchronous batches is a smart way to stay resilient.

Confused about the sample

If you survey 10,000 of your customers by email and 200 reply, what will you learn from the responses?

You will probably not get a statistically accurate presentation of how your customers feel. What you will get is an accurate understanding of how customers who answer email surveys feel. Two different things.

People who vote are not always the same as people who answer surveys. People who post Yelp reviews are not the same as people who buy from you. Customers who complain are not the same as all customers.

Sure, sometimes the groups are similar enough that it's okay to use one as a proxy for the other. But often, that's just not the case, and we mistake proximity and noisiness for accuracy.

Lulled

Everyone has a comfort zone.

Worth considering: How hard (and how often) are you willing to work to get out of it?

You can turn that into a habit if you choose.