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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

Shame is a brand killer

When your public sees you choosing a path that's shameful, that they don't approve of, that offends their sensibilities, it creates a dissonance that might never be erased.

Brands work not because they have clever logos or taglines, not because they run a lot of ads, but because something about their story and their promise resonates with deeply held cultural beliefs. "People like us do things like this/buy things like this/like things like this," is the mark of a brand (a comedian, a clothing line, a store) that has become part of the zeitgeist, at least for a portion of the population. Most of all, it's, "people like us treat others like this."

When the brand stops resonating and starts undermining the way their audience thinks of themselves, it feels wrong, uncomfortable. When it crosses the line to behavior seen as shameful, the brand fades. Perhaps forever.

Organizations ought to do the right thing because it's the right thing to do. Failing that, they ought to do the right thing because their public doesn't belong to them, they belong to their public, and when they fail to understand that, value disappears.

[Shame between individuals is corrosive, an ongoing toll on many relationships. We don't like to talk about shame because the very idea of it is so overwhelming. But shame in the public sphere is fuel for the media, and it's a significant contributor to maintaining or changing the cultural status quo. It's also become an ever increasing part of political discourse, and as a result, virtually all political brands are permanently tarnished.]

More people saying less (and a few more people saying more)

"Ditto!"

Opening the doors for the masses to speak, giving everyone who cares to have one a microphone--it has led to an explosion in people speaking. And most people, most of the time, are saying virtually nothing. Nothing worth reading, nothing worth repeating, certainly nothing worth remembering.

They're speaking, not speaking up.

But a few people...

A few people, people who would never have been chosen by those in power, are saying more. Writing more deeply, connecting more viscerally, changing the things around them.

That's each of us, at our best.

There's a cost of speaking up, of course. The cost of being wrong, or rubbing someone the wrong way, or merely in living with the uncertainty of what will happen next.

There's a cost to being banal, though. That cost isn't as easily felt, but it's real. It's the cost of boring your audience, of dumping 'me too' on people who have something better to do with their time. And especially, the cost of living in hiding, giving in to our fear.

Every day we can wonder and worry about whether a blog post is worth it. Not whether or not the microphone is working, but whether it's worth using at all.

It's much easier to spend a lot of time making your microphone louder than it is working on making your message more compelling...

The path of chiming in is safe and easy and carries little apparent risk and less reward (for you and for your readers). Choosing to dig deep and say more, though, is where both risk and reward live.

Sharing and celebrating your favorite authors...

One of the biggest benefits we've found in the way people use Hugdug is their ability to share the work of people they respect. Today more than ever, ideas spread horizontally, from person to person, not from the top down, not from an ad or from a talk show or from a promotion.

On a regular basis, I hand sell the work of Tom Peters, introducing his classics to people who didn't grow up with him. This one is my favorite.

The Hugdug team has hand-built some curation pages that make it easy for people to find a book they love and review and share it. Here are some authors who are doing amazing work... do you care enough to share it?

Ideas that spread, win. If you speak up about an idea or an artist you care about, the word spreads, the world changes. Find a favorite and tell someone...

Debbie Millman

Micah Sifry

Jeffrey Gitomer

Mitch Joel

Tom Peters

Neil Gaiman

Joachim de Posada

Nathaniel Philbrick

Brené Brown

The Freakonomics guys

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Tim Ferriss

Barry Eisler

Dalai Lama

Isabel Allende

Pema Chodron

John Jantsch 

Bryan Eisenberg

Guy Kawasaki

Steve Pressfield

Kurt Andersen

Maira Kalman

Jon Gordon

Dave Ramsey

Neal Stephenson

Cory Doctorow

Mark Fraunfelder

Here are some musicians, too.

Amanda Palmer 

Bob Dylan

Bruce Springsteen

Also! Thanks for your early support of Hugdug. Last week, we sent a donation of $25,000 to charity: water to celebrate our launch. Now you can review a book and make a difference...

Treating people with kindness

One theory says that if you treat people well, you're more likely to encourage them to do what you want, making all the effort pay off. Do this, get that.

Another one, which I prefer, is that you might consider treating people with kindness merely because you can. Regardless of what they choose to do in response, this is what you choose to do. Because you can.

The people who started Staples didn't do it...

because they love office supplies.

They did it because they love organizing and running profitable retail businesses. They love hiring and leasing and telling a story that converts prospects into customers. Postits are sort of irrelevant.

You shouldn't become a middle school math teacher because you love math. You should do it because you love teaching.

I hope Staples has a senior buyer who actually does love office supplies. I hope that textbooks get written by people who love, really love, the topic they're writing about. It's easy, though, to fool ourselves into believing that going up the ladder means we get to do more of the thing we started out doing.

It's often the case that the people we surround ourselves with (and the tasks we do) have far more to do with job satisfaction and performance than the subject of our work.

"But I might get rejected"

Indeed, you might.

You might get your hopes up only to find them dashed.

You might decide on where you want to go, and then not get there.

You might fall in love with a vision of the future and then discover it doesn't happen.

How much would that hurt? How much would it hurt to have those hopes, those decisions and that love turn out to be all for nothing?

Of course, it's not for nothing. In fact, those hopes, those decisions and that love is the foundation for a path worth pursuing. It's what makes us better.

This post was inspired by my new seminar. Sure, the odds are against you, but I think that's a lousy reason to avoid exploring something. "Will I get in?" is not nearly as good a question as, "Is it worth trying?"

Don't apply (to this or to anything else) just because you can, but yes, apply to something that matters to you, something worth dreaming about.

You might get rejected. So what?

Leap.

[I want to make an essential distinction here:

There's a huge difference between the internal cost of being rejected (you feel bad, you feel like a failure, you feel like a fraud), and the external cost.

The external cost might be the time you wasted working on something that didn't work. It might be that you offended someone by asking the wrong way, or by spamming, or by being selfish. And it might be that you wasted an opportunity by going for the longshot or the shortcut when you would have been better off settling in and succeeding in the long run.

This post is about the internal cost. It's so easy to talk ourselves into failure before it even shows up.]

The tyranny of lowest price

Lowering the price is a one-directional, single-axis choice. Either it's cheaper or it's not.

At first, the process of lowering your price involves smart efficiencies. It forces hard choices that lead to better outcomes.

Over time, though, in a competitive market, the quest for the bottom leads to brutality. The brutality of harming your suppliers, the brutality of compromising your morals and your mission. Someone else is always willing to go a penny lower than you are, and to compete, your choices get ever more limited.

The problem with the race to the bottom is that you might win. Even worse, you might come in second.

To cut the price a dollar on that ebook or ten dollars on that plane ticket (discounts that few, in the absence of comparison, would notice very much) you have to slash the way things are edited, or people are trained or safety is ensured. You have to scrimp on the culture, on how people are treated. You have to be willing to be less caring or more draconian than the other guy.

Every great brand (even those with low prices) is known for something other than how cheap they are.

Henry Ford earned his early success by using the ideas of mass production and interchangeable parts in a magnificent race to the most efficient car manufacturing system ever. But then, he and his team learned that people didn't actually want the cheapest car. They wanted a car they could be proud of, they wanted a car that was a bit safer, a bit more stylish, a car built by people who earned a wage that made them contributors to the community.

In the long run, to be the cheapest is a refuge for people who don't have the flair to design something worth paying for, who don't have the guts to point to their product or their service and say, "this isn't the cheapest, but it's worth it."

What got you here...

Without a doubt, your hard work in test prep led to better SAT scores, which got you into college. It's not clear, though, that SAT prep skills are going to help you ever again.

I know that all those years of practicing (8 hours a day!) got you plenty of praise and allowed you to reach a high level on the bassoon. It's not clear, though, that practicing even more is going to be the thing that takes your career where you want it to go.

Of course you needed a very special set of skills to raise all that money for your company. But now, you've raised it. Those same skills aren't what you need to actually build your company into something that matters, though.

Successful people develop a winning strategy. It's the work and focus and tactics that they get rewarded for, the stuff they do that others often don't, and it works. Until it doesn't.

When times get confusing, it's easy to revert to the habits that got you here. More often than not, that's precisely the wrong approach. The very thing that got you here is the thing that everyone who's here is doing, and if that's what it took to get to the next level, no one would be stuck.

What's on your agenda (a summer seminar)

If you're about to leap, working on something important and generous, perhaps it makes sense to come to my office for a week this summer.

I'm hosting a seminar for 15 people in late July. You can find out all the details right here.

It's for people early in their career, people with a proven track record of standing up and picking themselves, of doing work that matters. Tuition is free.

Applications are due right away.

If you know someone who might benefit from this, please let them know.

The problem with hit radio

When you only listen to the top 40, you're letting the crowd decide what you hear.

And if you consume nothing but the most liked, the most upvoted, the most viral, the most popular, you've abdicated responsibility for your incoming. Most people only read bestselling books. That's what makes them bestsellers, after all.

The web keeps pushing the top 40 on us. It defaults to 'sort by popular,' surfacing the hits, over and over.

Mass markets and math being what they are, it's likely that many of the ideas and products you consume in your life are in fact, consumed because they're the most popular. It takes a conscious effort to seek out the thing that's a little less obvious, the choice that's a little more risky.

Popular is not the same as important, or often, not the same as good.