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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

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IN STORES:

linchpin

Linchpin

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

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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.

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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.

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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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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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IN STORES:

the.big.moo

The Big Moo

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

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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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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

Why do you do it this way?

That's the simple test of a bureaucracy that has lost its way.

If your employees can't answer how something they do helps the customer or the company, you've insulated your people from their jobs.

"It's our policy," is not an answer to why. Saying the policy again, louder, is not an answer to why.

Their inability to answer this simple question might be because you haven't taken the time to teach your people how to think about the work you do. Or it might be because you're hiring people (or rewarding people) who don't want to think about your work.

Don't you want the people who do the work to understand it?  And don't you want your customers to feel respected by the people who serve them?

Politicians, patriots and statesmen

Some of the definitions are changing, but most fields have all three.

The politician used to be what we called a bureaucratic operative, someone who carefully chose his words and actions so he would offend no one. (Today, it's more likely to be someone who intentionally slows things down, who works hard to point fingers at the other side and is constantly on the hunt for money).

The patriot used to be someone who put aside his own interests in exchange for the organization he represents. (Today, it's more likely to be someone who's merely jingoistic, with a bit of short-term thinking thrown in for good measure). Plenty of blustering tech company CEOs could be put into this category.

And the statesman? The statesman is the person who will speak the truth, take the long-term view and do what's right, even if it hurts his position in the short-run. Fortunately, this definition hasn't changed much over the years. This is the leader who doesn't want to know which side someone is on before he can tell you if the decisions made were good ones or not. He's the one who works hard to see the world as it is, as opposed to insisting it must only be the way he expects. And mostly, he's the one you should work with, vote for or follow as often as you can.

Too often, the following statement is true, "For awhile, he was acting like a statesman, but then he became a short-term patriot and now he's merely a craven politician."

An interesting exercise: before you speak up (or fail to speak up) on something that matters, role play each of the three types and see which one matches your behavior.

How to go faster

How do you get to market faster than the competition? How do you become more efficient without violating the laws of physics? How do you save time, money and frustration?

It all comes down to decision hygiene:

1. Make decisions faster. You rarely need more time. Mostly, you must merely choose to decide. The simple test: is more time needed to gather useful data, or is more time merely a way to postpone the decision?

2. Make decisions in the right order. Do the decisions with the most expensive and time-consuming dependencies first. Don't ask the boss to approve the photos once you're in galleys, and don't start driving until you've looked at the map.

3. Only make decisions once, unless new data gives you a profitable reason to change your mind.

4. Don't ask everyone to help you decide. Ask the people who will either improve the decision or who have input that will make it more likely you won't get vetoed later.

5. Triage decisions. Some decisions don't matter. Some decisions are so unimportant that they are trumped by speed. And a few decisions are worth focusing on.

You don't need a consultant or a lot of money to radically improve your speed to market. You will speed up once you're comfortable going faster.

Can we talk about this?

Sometimes, words speak louder than actions.

Imagine how surprising and effective it would be if an infant said, "I'm so hungry, I feel like I might start to cry." Instead of guessing what the problem is, instead of finding ourselves emotionally fraught at all the screaming, we could get to the underlying truth of the problem.

Or consider how easy it is to get caught up with a co-worker who's disrespectful or a customer who is so distraught he can't see a way out of his problem. I've been to board meetings where the actions and the emotions were so loud it was difficult to hear what people really wanted to communicate.

It's easy to react, and it feels justified to do so. Tit for tat and "I'm not going to take this." But de-escalation through the power of words helps get to the truth far faster.

Commenting on the emotions that you are seeing is different than reflecting them back. Talking about what's happening defuses the tantrum that is just waiting to wreck the connection that could be become so valuable. 

If the goal is connection, then connect. [Coincidentally, just discovered this book on the topic.]

Choosing what's possible: Your turn to grow

On Tuesday, we opened applications for the altMBA, an intensive course designed to help people shift gears and make a bigger ruckus.

It's not an MBA. There's no accounting, finance or big business sleight of hand. It's also not a typical online course, with impersonal systems and no standards.

Instead, it's a personal small-group experience for people who want to make a difference... 

So far, we've received applications from engineers, artists, non-profit executives, designers, marketers, and founders.

Mostly, we're hearing from people who may be a lot like you. At seminars I've run in the past I see it again and again: everyone is sure that they're the least powerful, least qualified person in the room. And then we all lift each other up.

One applicant, a successful editor, told me, "The course description is the single most terrifying thing I have read in my whole life. And for that reason, I’m saying: yes, if you’ll have me."

What people take away from business school isn't the coursework. It's the ability to ship, to connect, to be surrounded by people who expect more from us.

It's easy to overlook how frightening it is for many people to even consider an opportunity like this. Change represents a threat, and for many of us, change is something to be avoided. If you know someone ready to step up, I hope you'll share this with them.

Groucho Marx famously didn't want to belong to any club that would have him as a member. And one reason for his hesitation was the very real fear of not getting in. I think he would have gotten a lot out of the altMBA, and while it's too late for Groucho, I hope you'll check it out...

Non-profits and stories that matter

Here's Cat Hoke talking about Defy Ventures.

And here's a brand-new interview about fundraising.

An alternative for a different audience: Givewell tells a story of radical, rational efficiency. 

And a link to my rant about gala economics from 2011.

I also enjoyed Jessica Hagy's free new ChangeThis manifesto.

It takes guts to care and it takes hubris to stand up and do something.

Imperfect substitutes

One of the driving factors in setting prices is understanding the issue of substitutes. If there are four kinds of bottled water and one is half the price of the others, guess which will generate all the sales? They are quite close to perfect substitutes, so take the cheap one.

Even though all the movies at the multiplex cost $12 a seat, you can't often substitute one for another to save money. You don't go to Mall Cop merely because it's $2 less. Movies aren't commodities, and the substitutes aren't perfect at all.

Last year, I asked a photographer to license a photo for a project. The photographer asked for too much—he had every right to, it was his photo after all, and if I wanted that photo, I had to pay him. But the thing is, I didn't need 'that' photo, I just needed 'a' photo. The available substitute was imperfect but acceptable.

The reason that ebook prices are less important than in many other industries is that the substitutes for Makers or In Search of Excellence are quite imperfect--if you want to know what that book said, the only way to really know is to read it. 

Your job then, isn't to merely set your price low enough to keep people from seeking substitutes. It's to create a product or service unique or connected or noteworthy enough that the other choices are ever more imperfect.

A new way to move forward

Transformation is possible. It’s possible to become a doctor, a skilled musician, a designer of beautiful objects. it’s possible to be transformed into the kind of person who leads, who connects, who sees the world as it is. And it’s possible to become significantly better at making change happen.

Today, I’m launching the altMBA, a real-time, month-long intensive program. This is a small-group process that works online, designed to help people move from here to there—to stand up and become the leaders and the game changers they want to be.

I've spent the last six months designing this program and building the team that will organize it. My goal hasn't varied: to help people leap, to make change that matters in themselves and those around them. Along the way, I discovered that the magic to creating this change is in peer-to-peer connection as well as hands-on projects. You will remember (and be changed by) your fellow students.

DETAILS: The altMBA is difficult, time-consuming and expensive ($3,000). It’s personal. The time and passion you put into it are truly scarce resources. Only 100 people will be admitted to a section, and the first section begins in June.  Students are admitted by rolling admissions (first-come, first-served) and applications for the first session are due by May 17th.

You can read the extensive FAQs here, and find the application link on the FAQ as well. [Landing page is UPDATED with a new video as well]. [Here's my friend Ishita's take.]

The plan is that you will work harder than you’ve previously worked online. In return, you’ll find a significant amount of support, appropriate tools and most of all, work that matters.

GROUPS: The focus of the program is on group work, leveraging the power of your peers in order to extend yourself, both by learning from and teaching others. We’re building a cohort of people who will challenge each other to go further than they ever expected. Not merely during the course of the month, but for decades to come. The expectation is that you will spend far more time working with your fellow students than you will consuming the public online content.

SCALE: We’re going to severely limit our growth--the goal isn’t to be big, it’s to change things. Every section of one hundred will have several dedicated coaches. You will be seen and recognized and supported.

Yes, the altMBA is not for everyone, but it might be for you. And if you know someone who might benefit, I hope you'll share this with them.

Click here to see all the details of the program and to apply. Applications for the first section close on May 17. Let’s go.

Toasted

Just about everything tastes better toasted.

One reason is the physics of the maillard reaction.

But more than that, I think, is the realization that toast is:

Custom made (for you)

With care (so it doesn't burn)

Ephemeral (cold toast is worthless)

Here's a little treat, something extra I did that wasn't necessary, for you, right now, here, I made this.

I wonder what else (ideas, services, products, relationships) could be toasted? Just about everything, I think.

"But how can you be sure?"

100% certainty is not a variation of 96% or even 99%. It's a totally different category.

Certainty is binary, yes or no. The question, "are you sure it will work" is not about the work, it's about the sure. If you need to know that it's going to work, then you've committed to a very clear path. Some people go to work or school and do nothing except the things that they are sure about.

The other path is to do things that might not work. Work, projects designed to land on the spectrum of not sure.

When someone asks, "Do you have any case studies and rules of thumb from my industry about how someone in precisely the same circumstances did x and got y," it's pretty clear that they seek reassurance and a promise of certainty.

But all the good stuff comes from leaping. From doing the things that might not work.