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SETH'S BOOKS

Seth Godin has written 12 bestsellers that have been translated into 33 languages

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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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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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The wasteful fraud of sorting for youth meritocracy

"Sorry, you didn't make the team. We did the cuts today."

"We did play auditions all day yesterday, and so many people turned out, there just wasn't a role for you. We picked people who were more talented."

"You're on the bench until your skills improve. We want to win."

Ask the well-meaning coaches and teachers running the tryouts and choosing who gets to play, ask them who gets on stage and who gets fast tracked, and they'll explain that life is a meritocracy, and it's essential to teach kids that they're about to enter a world where people get picked based on performance.

Or, they might point out that their job is to win, to put on a great show, to entertain the parents with the best performance they can create.

This, all of this, is sort of dangerous, unhelpful and nonsensical.

As millions head back for another year of school, I'm hoping that parents (and students) can call this out.

When you're six years old and you try out for the hockey team, only two things are going to get you picked ahead of the others: either you're older (it's true, check this out) or you were born with size or speed or some other advantage that wasn't your choice.

And the junior high musical? It's pretty clear that kids are chosen based on appearance or natural singing talent, two things that weren't up to them.

Soccer and football exist in school not because there's a trophy shortage, not because the school benefits from winning. They exist, I think, to create a learning experience. But when we bench people because they're not naturally good, what's the lesson?

If you get ahead for years and years because you got dealt good cards, it's not particularly likely that you will learn that in the real world, achievement is based as much on attitude and effort as it is on natural advantages. In the real world, Nobel prizes and Broadway roles and the senior VP job go to people who have figured out how to care, how to show up, how to be open to new experiences. Our culture is built around connection and charisma and learning and the ability to not quit in precisely the right moments. 

But that's not easy to sort for in school, so we take a shortcut and resort to trivial measures instead.

What if we celebrated the students who regularly try the hardest, help each other the most and lead? What if we fast tracked those students, and made it clear to anyone else willing to adopt those attitudes that they could be celebrated too?

What if you got cast, tracked or made the cut because you were resilient, hard working and willing to set yourself up for a cycle of continuous improvement? Isn't that more important than rewarding the kid who never passes but still scores a lot of goals?

Before you feature a trumpet prodigy at the jazz band concert, perhaps you could feature the kid who just won't quit. No need to tell him he's a great trumpet player--the fact is, none of these kids are Maynard Ferguson--just tell him the truth. Tell him that every single person who has made a career of playing the trumpet (every single one of them) did it with effort and passion, not with lips that naturally vibrate.

We're not spending nearly enough time asking each other: What is School For?

Since I first published Stop Stealing Dreams to the web, it's been shared millions of times. My hope is that as we go back to school, you'll forward this video and this manifesto (screen edition) to every parent and teacher you know. (Here's a printable edition if you want to print it out and hand copies out).

Let's talk about school and figure out what we're trying to create.

Forgive yourself

Forgive yourself for not being the richest, the thinnest, the tallest, the one with the best hair. Forgive yourself for not being the most successful, the cutest or the one with the fastest time. Forgive yourself for not winning every round.

Forgive yourself for being afraid.

But don't let yourself off the hook, never forgive yourself, for not caring or not trying.

It's a great book, it has no typos!

And you really have to check out this hotel, it's dark in your room at night. And quiet, too.

Quality is now a given. Quality alone is not remarkable.

Surprise and delight and connection are remarkable.

Turning passion on its head

Instead of, "do what you love," perhaps the more effective mantra for the entrepreneur, the linchpin and maker of change might be, "love what you do."

If we can fall in love with serving people, creating value, solving problems, building valuable connections and doing work that matters, it makes it far more likely we're going to do important work.

Why don't authors compete?

There's an apocryphal story of a guy who went for his final interview for a senior post at Coca-Cola. At dinner, he ordered a Pepsi. He didn't get the job.

And most packaged goods companies would kill to be the only product on the shelf, to own the category in a given store.

Yet, not only do authors get along, they spend time and energy blurbing each other's books. Authors don't try to eliminate others from the shelf, in fact, they seek out the most crowded shelves they can find to place their books. They eagerly pay to read what everyone else is writing...

Can you imagine Tim Cook at Apple giving a generous, positive blurb to an Android phone?

And yet authors do it all the time.

It's one of the things I've always liked best about being a professional writer. The universal recognition that there's plenty of room for more authors, and that more reading is better than less reading, even if what's getting read isn't ours.

It's not a zero-sum game. It's an infinite game, one where we each seek to help ideas spread and lives change.

It turns out that in most industries in the connection economy, that's precisely what works. People happily tweet each other's handles to their followers and give references to others that are looking for jobs. When a business that's comfortable not having 100% market share happily recommends a competitor, they're sending a signal about trust and confidence and most of all, about feeding the community first.

The competition isn't the person next to you on the web, or the store. The competition is none-of-the-above.

Along those lines: Here's an End-of-summer book roundup

The best thriller of the summer, juicy all the way through, is Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot. I'm relishing the audio version, forcing myself to go slowly, a chapter at a time...

Brian and Dharmesh are back with a new edition of their classic on Inbound Marketing.

David Meerman Scott delivers with a book that challenges a whole new industry: selling.

Shane Snow does a regression analysis to find out how some organizations (and people) manage to breakthrough in less time and make a big ruckus. He calls them Smartcuts.

As always, Sam Harris will make you think hard, about thinking.

Jenny Rosenstrach is back with more on creating a family dinner for those who don't believe they can. And my cookbook of the summer is from Oleana in Boston...

Steve Almond's football book will make fans angry. The question is: can you listen to an argument when you don't like where it's leading? And here's one about famous colleges.

Michael Schrage has written a book about innovation via 5x5, one that people will be referring to a decade now. Recommended for urgent pre-order.

Announcing a fall internship

I'm hiring one or two paid interns. It's a great opportunity to learn, to experiment and to get some hands on experience.

Find all the details right here. If you know someone who might be interested, I'd appreciate it if you would forward this to them.

The end of everyone

I'm not sure if it was ever possible to say, "everyone loves ___," "everyone respects ___" or even, "everyone really doesn't like ___", but there's no doubt at all that this isn't true any more.

There is no more everyone. Instead, there are many pockets of someones.

"I made it my mission..."

These are the people you want to hire, the people who will become linchpins, the people who will change your organization for the better. Not people who merely accept a mission, or grudgingly grind through a mission, but people who voluntarily choose to make something important their mission.

This post from Scott on iOS battery life is what I'm talking about.

Mission-driven beats compliant, every time.

The best lesson from Fantasy Football's success

When people say, "my team," they mean it.

In the top-down world of industrial marketing, the San Francisco 49ers say, "we built this team, buy a ticket if you want to come."

Then, a few years later, it broadened to, "you should buy a jersey so you can be part of it."

In the sideways, modern world of peer-to-peer connection, people say, "my team has this player, that player and this defense." It belongs to them, because they built it. Everyone has their own team.

In neither case is the fan on the field, getting concussed or making the big decisions. It doesn't matter. What matters is that our feeling of ownership, of us-ness, is shifting. We want celebrities and brands and teams that do more than merely put on a show. In addition to the show, people want to believe that they own part of it.

The idea is not the (only) hard part

In 1989, I created and launched a new idea: videotapes of people playing video games. It was ridiculed by the hipsters of the day, and my publisher later admitted that they hadn't even bothered to bring it to market beyond a few stores. A copycat product went on to sell a few million copies.

Today, Amazon paid a billion dollars for Twitch, which is precisely the same idea, used by millions of people every day. More than a billion hours have been spent/wasted on Twitch to date, I'm guessing.

I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for a commission check.

No, the hard part isn't merely thinking of an idea. Yes, it's hard to sit with a bunch of pre-teens while they record the underlying video, and hard to get it made and hard to get the first one published, the first time.

But the truly hard part is, 25 years later, sticking with it long enough for it to actually work.