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SETH'S BOOKS

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

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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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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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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.

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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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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

The narcissism of minor differences

Really?

You're arguing about that trivial difference between us?

Substantive disagreement is rarely the issue that splits tribes, destroys thriving groups or wastes time at meetings. Instead, it's our desire to carve out a little space for ourselves in a group that seems to agree on almost everything.

The work is too important to sidetrack about the things we disagree on.

Point out this narcissism when you see it and move on to the important stuff, to amplifying the things we agree on.

[HT to Ernest Crawley who has one of the coolest resumes ever. And then appropriated by Freud.]

"That can't be a legal parking space..."

"Because if it was, someone would already be parking there."

If you're sufficiently pessimistic about new opportunities, it probably pays to stop driving around. Opportunity is often where you decide it is.

Samples and shipping and more

Here's an audio excerpt from the download/CD program I recently released via SoundsTrue as a fundraiser for Acumen. (Also on Amazon). I hope it resonates with you:

Listen to The comparison trap from Leap First by Seth Godin

Listen to Unleash the demos from Leap First by Seth Godin

And, in response to many requests from people who love the fast (and sometimes free) shipping that Amazon offers, we've decided to now offer the two-pack of Your Turn on their site as well. (Click on "see all buying options" to get the 2 pack offer). 

To get us off to a good start, it's discounted for the next week, two copies for less than $28. You can always buy the multi-packs on the original site as well. (And here's a ChangeThis sample of the book).

The asymmetry of decay

When things get a little better every day, we take the good news for granted. It takes almost no time at all for the improvement to turn into an expectation and for the expectation to be taken for granted.

But when things decay, we can't stop thinking about the loss, extrapolating the pattern all the way to doom, and then living with that doom, long before it arrives.

This is a bug in the system of our culture, but that doesn't mean we can't work to hack it. When we curate our media intake (and create our own) and when we decide what story to tell ourselves (instead of accepting the story of someone with different objectives than ours), we can rewire our inputs and the way we process them.

Same facts, different experience. On purpose.

Labor unions in a post-industrial age

The us/them mindset of the successful industrialist led to the inevitable and essential creation of labor unions. If, as Smith and Marx wrote, owning the means of production transfers maximum value to the factory owner, the labor union provided a necessary correction to an inherently one-sided relationship.

Industrialism is based on doing a difficult thing (making something) ever cheaper and more reliably. The union movement is the result of a group of workers insisting that they be treated fairly, despite the fact that they don't own the means of production. Before globalism, unions had the ability to limit the downward spiral of wages.

But what happens when the best jobs aren't on the assembly line, but involve connection, creation and art? What happens when making average stuff isn't sufficient to be successful? When interactions and product design and unintended (or intended) side effects are at least as important as Frederick Taylor measuring every motion and pushing to get it done as cheaply as possible?

Consider what would happen if a union used its power (collective bargaining, slowdowns, education, strikes) to push management to take risks, embrace change and most of all, do what's right for customers in a competitive age...

What if the unionized service workers demanded the freedom to actually connect with those that they are serving, and to do it without onerous scripts and a focus on reliable mediocrity? 

What would have happened to Chrysler or GM if the UAW had threatened to strike in 1985 because the design of cars was so mediocre? Or if the unions had pushed hard for more and better robots, together with extensive education to be sure that their workers were the ones designing and operating them?

Or, what if the corrections union, instead of standing up for the few bad apples, pushed the system to bring daylight and humanity to their work, so that more dollars would be available for their best people?

There's a massive cultural and economic shift going on. Senior management is slowly waking up to it, as are some unions. This sort of shift feels risky, almost ridiculous, but it's a possible next step as the workers realize that their connection to the market and the internet gives them more of the means of production than ever before.

Without a doubt, there's a huge challenge in ensuring that the people who do the work are treated with appropriate respect, dignity and compensation. It's not happening nearly enough. But in an economy that rewards the race to the top so much more heavily than cutting costs a few dollars, unions have a vested interest in pushing each of their members to reject the industrial sameness that seems so efficient but ultimately leads to a race to the bottom, and jobs (their jobs), lost.

The circus is coming to town

Too often, we wait. We wait to get the gig, or to make the complex sale, or to find the approval we seek. Then we decide it's time to get to work and put on our show.

The circus doesn't work that way. They don't wait to be called. They show up. They show up and sell tickets.

When you transform the order of things, the power shifts. "The circus is going to be here tomorrow, are you going?" That's a very different question than, "are you willing to go out on a limb and book the circus? If you are, we'll come to town..."

People respond to forward motion. Auctions are always more exciting than "price available on request."

Stupid is the brand killer

When you make your customer feel stupid, you've given him no choice. He needs to blame you.

Some ways to make people feel stupid:

  • Charge different prices at different outlets and shrug your shoulders when you get found out.
  • Insist that the warranty ends precisely the day you said it would. 
  • Give new customers a great discount for signing up, but tell long-term customers that they're out of luck.
  • Make your expensive items less networked, less powerful and less reliable than your cheaper ones.
  • Give your customers a product, idea or service that causes them to be ridiculed or shamed by people they hope to impress.
  • Sell the private data you get from customers to other marketers without asking first.
  • Put the important information in your terms and conditions, in little tiny type.
  • Collect money as though you're in the long-term relationship business, but in every other way, act like you don't expect the relationship to last.
  • Talk about your customers (students/clients/members) behind their back in a way you'd never talk to their face (hint: it'll get back to them).
  • Lower your pricing but don't honor it for people who just bought from you. That shrug again.
  • Scold someone because the last three people already heard you just answer that question (but we didn't...)
  • Assume the worst about a customer's intent, intelligence and background.

Most people (particularly the customers you seek) don't mind paying a little extra if it comes with dignity, confidence and a smile.

Sorry confusion

There are two kinds of, "I'm sorry."

The first kind is the apology of responsibility, of blame and of litigation. It is the four-year old saying to his brother, "I'm sorry I hit you in the face." And it is the apology of the surgeon who forgot to insert sterile dressings and almost killed you.

The other kind of sorry is an expression of humanity. It says, "I see you and I see your pain." This is the sorry we utter at a funeral, or when we hear that someone has stumbled. 

You don't have to be in charge to say you're sorry. You don't even have to be responsible. All you need to do is care.

In this case, "I'm sorry," is precisely the opposite of, "I'm sorry you feel that way," which of course pushes the other person away, often forever.

As we've been busy commercializing, industrializing and lawyering the world, countless bureaucrats have forgotten what it means to be human, and have forgotten how much it means to us to hear someone say it, and mean it. "I'm sorry you missed your flight, and I can only imagine how screwed up the rest of your trip is going to be because of it."

"I see you," is what we crave.

If you want...

If you want employees to go job hunting in order to leverage you into giving them a raise to keep them, then by all means, only give them a raise when they go job hunting.

If you want vendors to nickel and dime you for the last penny, then by all means, stretch out their payments and use them as a free source of cash.

If you want the home seller or the art dealer or the agent to put their goods up for auction to maximize the price you'll have to pay, then definitely punish those that don't have auctions by seeking to pay them as little as possible.

If you want internet companies to auction off your attention to the highest bidder, the best strategy is to only use services that don't charge you a fee.

If you want to be spammed, buy something from a telemarketer or an email pitch.

If you want gotchas, fine print and the hard sell, buy your car from someone who promises you the lowest price and then figures out how to make a profit some other way.

If you want customers to throw tantrums in order to get better service, my best advice is to only give a focused, urgent response to customers who throw tantrums.

Most of all, if you want customers to hear about you, make something worth talking about. And if you want customers who are loyal, act in a way that deserves loyalty.

Here comes 'uh oh'

Everyone has one. That feeling of here we go again, the trap we fall into, the moment of vulnerability.

And your 'uh oh' might not be the same as mine. Not a specific fear, but a soft spot, a situational archetype, a moment that brings it all crashing down.

The feeling is unavoidable in any organization or culture that seeks to do work that matters and create change. And yet we work overtime to create a day or a year or a career where we'll never have to feel that way.

And that's the challenge. All the work we do to avoid the feeling cripples our ability to do our best work. In trying to shield ourselves from a short-term feeling, we build a long-term narrative that pushes us to mediocrity.

We can hide the soft spot, or we can lead with it.

Working to avoid a feeling merely reminds us of the feeling. And undercuts our work as well.