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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.

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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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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.

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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.

ONLINE:

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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.

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.

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IN STORES:

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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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.

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THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin




All Marketers Are Liars Blog




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Member since 08/2003

Asking or announcing...

When you ask someone if they would use your new product, buy your new widget or participate in your new service once it's ready, you will get a lie in response.

It might be a generous lie ("sure, I love this") or it might be a fearful lie ("here are the six reasons I would never use this"). The fearful lies cause us to scale back, to shave off, to go for mediocre. And the generous lies push us to launch stuff that's just not very good.

People don't mean to mess you up, but you've made the error of asking them to imagine a future they have trouble imagining. It's incredibly different than asking them to justify what they already do. "Why did you buy that particular car?" queries a completely different part of the brain than, "would you buy this new kind of car?"

Imagine the early focus groups for an early modern car. "Why does the transmission say 'd' instead of 'f'? F means forward!" "Why doesn't the window work the way the windows in my house work?" "There should be a lot of warnings on this thing, it could kill someone." "There's a radio? Why don't you make the car good at just one thing..."

It's one thing for someone to explain why they read and liked a particular book. It's another to ask them if they would read it, or even publish it. Almost everyone is horribly bad at this sort of explanation.

Steve Krug has written a really useful book about this. The takeaway is to never again run an amateur focus group, never ask an investor to help you think about what the market wants. Instead, we have to show, not tell, must create environments where people choose, then ask them why.

To be seen

A recent article outlines how NFL cheerleaders are paid less than minimum wage, disrespected and treated quite poorly. So why do they put up with this lousy behavior?

In many ways, the appeal is an extension of what we were taught in high school. To be seen, to be noticed, to be picked. Even more than that, it's part of the human condition: To be part of something, in a small way, to matter.

Despite the obvious inequity of working for free for billionaires to celebrate players paid millions on behalf of advertisers earning even more, despite the conditions and the insults, people keep trying out to be picked by the team. For now.

The shift that's happening due to the long-tail open nature of new media, though, is that it's easier than ever to pick yourself and to be seen (even if it's not on national TV). It's easier than ever to start your own dance troupe, to build a group that will travel to cheer enthusiastically, for hire. It's easier than ever for anyone to be seen in videos or heard in podcasts or read online.

The fascinating lesson about human nature is that people aren't always driven by a rational analysis of work as an exchange of labor for cash. We want to be seen and we seek to belong. It's a shame when an organization takes advantage of that and treats people unfairly.

When we offer people a chance to matter and to be seen, we have the chance to offer them something magical. 

Conventions and expectations

When you launch something new, you're almost certainly placing it into a section of the world that already has expectations about how things like this are supposed to work. A university gives diplomas. Restaurant waiters take tips. Software ought to have a 'save as' button.

It can be far more subtle than that. An emergency room waiting area looks very different from the waiting area at the chiropractor's office, even though both have the same function (waiting). The sound quality and background noise on a personal phone call sounds subtly different from one that's coming from a call center. A well-published book has chapters that start on the right-hand page.

Challenging conventions is precisely what makes your thing new. Hence unconventional. The difficulty comes when you challenge conventions and defy expectations that you weren't planning on upsetting. The inadvertent skipping of what we expect causes you to frustrate us, or to appear as an uncaring, unprepared amateur, or both.

Polish comes from domain knowledge, from having an intimate understanding of what people like your customers expect when they encounter something like the thing you just built. Sure, violate those expectations when they serve your needs. The rest of the time, though, it's smart to play along.

Your choice

Habits are a choice

Giving is a choice

Reactions are a choice

Ideas are a choice

Connections are a choice

Reputation is a choice

The work is a choice

Words are a choice

Leading is a choice

No one can be responsible for where or how we each begin. No one has the freedom to do anything or everything, and all choices bring consequences. What we choose to do next, though, how to spend our resources or attention or effort, this is what defines us.

Where's your umbrella?

Maria just published an interview I did on stage with Debbie Millman. Her post is nicely illustrated with excerpts of Hugh's work as well.

I honestly didn't remember how the whole thing went down (Debbie's fabulous at this, and it's easy to get into a zone). I'm thrilled that it's resonating with so many people.

She surprised me and decided to talk about V is for Vulnerable. (A picture book for adults). Check it out.

One hit wonders

These are artists who gave up too soon, or lost their nerve when it came to making another leap.

A one-hit wonder is a legend who stopped early.

Small differences, looming large

As we get more technologically advanced, more civilized and more refined, differences get smaller.

The Nikon SLR was in a different universe than the Instamatic. Just about anyone could instantly see the differences between pictures taken with these cameras. Taking pictures for online use with the Sony RX1 and the 80% less Canon pocket camera--not so much.

The rough peasant wine available on your table at a local restaurant was a totally different experience than a vintage Burgundy. Thirty years after that vacation, it's pretty tough (in a blind tasting) to tell the difference between a bottle that costs ten dollars at the local store and one that costs $200...

The speed difference between a Mac IIfx and a Commodore 64 was no contest. One was for professionals, one was a game for kids. Today, there's no dramatic functional difference for most users between the speed of the cheap Android tablet and the Mac Pro.

But of course, for those that care, the difference matters more than ever. For those that care, the premium available to be paid for a better camera, wine or computer is actually far greater than it ever was before.

As the differences get smaller, the purely functional reasons for premium goods fade away, and instead they are purchased for the reason we've always purchased luxury goods: because of how they make us feel, not because of what they actually do. The fur coat is not warmer than the down jacket, it's merely harder to acquire.

(Premium vs. luxury has more on this.)

Who says go?

You can pretty easily find people who will work with you or for you or advise you if you tell them what you want to do, if you are the person who says, "let's go."

It turns out that finding the employee/partner/consultant who says, "this is what we should do, follow me," is rare and precious. More valuable than just about anything that's printed on a resume.

The benefit of the doubt

Wouldn't it be nice if your work stood on its own?

That design, that bit of writing, that piece of craft--what if what you did was judged solely on the merits, if the people engaging with your work saw it for precisely what it was...

Or consider the doctor, able to heal people merely by providing precisely the right treatment on just the right day.

Or the lawyer, winning the case because she presented the most cogent, rational argument.

Doesn't work that way.

The crowd likes the songs from the singer they came to hear, not the unknown opening act. The patient responds to medicine when he believes in the doctor who prescribes it. The client is far more likely to applaud your work if he's already put down a big, non-refundable deposit.

A huge part of making our work more effective is creating the environment where we will be given the benefit of the doubt. Often, creating this environment is at least as important as the work itself.

The benefit to both sides is huge. Doubt is the project killer, and investing in diminishing that doubt is time well spent.

The proven way to add value

Do extremely difficult work.

That seems obvious, right? If you do something that's valued but scarce because it's difficult, you're more likely to be in demand and to be compensated fairly for what you do.

The implication is stunning, though: When designing a project or developing a skill, seek out the most difficult parts to master and contribute. If it's easy, it's not for you.