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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.

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.

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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

Better than free?

Without a doubt, free enables an idea to spread, it creates opportunity for sampling, it can open the door to engagement.

But when you buy something, you're paying for something that you can never get when it's handed to you.

Buying requires emotional commitment. Even a small payment has been shown to change the way people set expectations, not just for what they receive but how much energy and effort they're willing to contribute. It begins with confirmation bias, because if you paid for it, it must be worthwhile. But in the constantly-free world of digital media, I think it goes beyond this. 

In my new Skillshare course on modern marketing, I see this every day. Instead of clicking away and giving up, people devote more energy and effort to pushing through the hard stuff. That energy and effort, of course, opens ever more doors, which creates a virtuous cycle of learning.

One way to play in the digital age is to appeal to those that browse, the window shoppers, the mass audience that can't and won't commit. The alternative is to focus on impact, not numbers, and impact comes from commitment.

Price is more than an exchange of coins. Price is a story, a powerful tool for changing minds and one way we persuade ourselves to make a change. Lowering your price (all the way to free) isn't the only way (or even the best way) to move your market.

Commitment is a benefit.

Save the date: With Dave Ramsey and Gary Vee in NYC 10/2/14

Dave's team has booked the beautiful Rose Theatre at Lincoln Center for a day-long event with the three of us on October 2, 2014. I've known Dave and Gary for years, and it promises to be a really special day.

Find out more here. Apologies if it's already sold out. For the next twenty-four hours, get first dibs on seats and save $100 with code sethsblog.

Sometimes you don't need a budget

Most of the time, people don't want a refund or a bonus. What they really want is for you to hear them and to do the right thing. What if every manager and every customer contact in your organization bought into that?

Here are some things you can do that don't cost any money (but they certainly require effort):

Treat your employees with care and respect

Be consistent in your actions

Keep your promises

Grant others their dignity

Give credit

Take responsibility

When wrong, offer a heartfelt apology

Don't be a jerk

Take the time to actually listen to people

Volunteer to handle the issue

Care

The bacon/Yelp correlation

What is New York's favorite way to eat oatmeal?

If you try to reverse engineer preferences from Yelp reviews, you're likely to make a common error. It turns out that bacon-as-a-topping comes up often in Yelp, which might lead you to believe that adding bacon to the menu is a surefire crowdpleaser.

In fact, what it tells you is that bacon lovers are more likely to post Yelp reviews.

There are now two crowds. There is the crowd of mass, of everyone, of what the average folks want. And there is the crowd of the loud, the interested and the connected.

If your goal is to get more reviews on Yelp, then, over-the-top and particularly edgy choices in food and service are a great idea. The thesis of We Are All Weird is that segments of the population are finding each other, challenging each other and getting weirder all the time.

You probably won't get great ratings in TripAdvisor with a perfectly pleasant hotel, or good food at a good price. This group, the group that's gaining in power, demands more from you.

By all means, then, get weird and amplify what the outliers want if your goal is to attract raving fans online. But at the same time, it's way too early to confuse acceptance by the critics with delight of the masses. Difficult to do both at the same time.

Change the way you and your team see marketing

Launching today, my new course on Skillshare: The Modern Marketing Workshop. A course for marketers in every organization.

Click here to find out the details. I think you'll find that this course has the power to transform the way you and your organization spread your ideas, engage with customers and most of all, think about what you make and why.

This is the stuff I learned the hard way. You can be smarter: you have this course.

Marketing has changed more in the last 20 years than any other business discipline. Far more than accounting, manufacturing, or management. Why are we relying on the same-old traditional textbooks? Why are CMOs cornered into decisions that make no sense? Why do leaders still talk about marketing and advertising like they’re the same?

This is my second class. The first Skillshare course I launched a few months ago has gotten a terrific response (their most popular course ever) and people let me know that they wanted me to add a different course, one that would address marketing the way it's done today. It turns out that just about everything we learned in school, just about everything our boss, our board and our co-workers believe about marketing is out of date. 

You can see some of the reviews for the first class here.

The new course includes videos, new ebooks, worksheets and more (more than 75 pages of brand-new material and many hours of discussions and projects for you and your team.) I hope you'll devote the time to really dive into it, and you'll challenge your peers to do it with you.

If you sign up before the 13th, you'll be invited to join me for a live kick-off chat room session. Hope to see you there.

PS discount code seth2014 will save you a few dollars. Thanks.

[Skillshare's motto is terrific: "the future belongs to the curious." My favorite part about this course, and the reason I called it a workshop, is that it connects curious people. The course gets better when more people are taking it. The interactions between and among the curious attendees can last for months or years, an ever-virtuous cycle of creation and connection and teaching and learning.]

Are we not plankton?

Whales have to eat a lot of plankton. A whale needs an enormous number of these tiny creatures because, let's be honest, one plankton just doesn't make a meal.

It's unlikely the whale savors each plankton, relishing the value that it brings.

The fabled Oreo tweet and the now legendary Ellen selfie are examples of whale eating plankton. Each retweet is so worthless to these whales and the brands that come from the TV world that they need millions of them, constantly. 

They're hooked on tonnage, and will dumb down whatever they do to get more of it. To get mass in the social media world, you need luck and you need to pander.

I think our attention is more precious than that.

For most modern marketers, quantity isn't the point. What matters is to matter. Lives changed. Work that made an actual difference. Connection.

You are not a plankton. Neither are your customers.

Will they switch for cheaper?

In fact, most people switch for better.

Without a doubt, there's a slot in every market for the cheap enough, good enough alternative.

But rapid growth and long-term loyalty come from being better instead.

When your product or your service doesn't measure up, the answer probably isn't to lower your price or offer a refund to the disappointed customer. Instead, the alternative is to invest in making it better. So much better that people can't help but talk about it—and so much better that they would truly miss it if it were gone.

Entropy, bureaucracy and the fight for great

Here are some laws rarely broken:

As an organization succeeds, it gets bigger.

As it gets bigger, the average amount of passion and initiative of the organization goes down (more people gets you closer to averge, which is another word for mediocre).

More people requires more formal communication, simple instructions to ensure consistent execution. It gets more and more difficult to say, "use your best judgment" and be able to count on the outcome.

Larger still means more bureaucracy, more people who manage and push for comformity, as opposed to do something new.

Success brings with it the fear of blowing it. With more to lose, there's more pressure not to lose it.

Mix all these things together and you discover that going forward, each decision pushes the organization toward do-ability, reliability, risk-proofing and safety.

And, worst of all, like a game of telephone, there will be transcription errors, mistakes in interpreting instructions and general random noise. And most of the time, these mutations don't make things wonderful, they lead to breakage.

Even really good people, really well-intentioned people, then, end up in organizations that plod toward mediocre, interrupted by random errors and dropped balls.

This can be fixed. It can be addressed, but only by a never-ending fight for greatness.

Greatness can't be a policy, and it's hard to delegate to bureaucrats. But yes, greatness is something that people can work for, create an insurgency around and once in a while, actually achieve. It's a commitment, not an event.

It's not easy, which is why it's rare, but it's worth it.

What happens to privacy?

People don't care about privacy as much as they care about being surprised.

Most people have used credit cards for decades—giving the credit card company tons of intimate data about their habits. We go to doctors and therapists and tell them our detailed medical and emotional histories. That's all fine because we believe we know exactly what's going to happen to the information. When we're surprised and a promise is broken, we're (rightly) furious.

If people actually cared about privacy (no one knowing what they do) then we would have given up on most connected activities generations ago. No, we were fine with some people knowing, as long as we realized who those people were (and what those uses were) in advance.

The outrage over privacy leaks and snooping is largely because it comes as a surprise. It's not what we signed up for and not what we expected. As marketers and governments continue to intrude, though, less privacy will become the new normal. Ask any teenager... few of them are particularly surprised or upset that they're leaving a trail online, it's always been that way for them.

Now that we've been desensitized, expect a huge stampede of apps, services and technologies that monetize and quantitize things that we used to think of as off limits. They won't tiptoe, they will leap, because the race is on to create value from information that used to be invisible. 

The thing about surprising people is that once you do it, you can't do it again and again. As surprise fades, people will come to tolerate and then (eventually) look forward to organizations using the data we used to believe would never be used.

[Here's one scenario to give you a sense of how big the shift will be. When just 1% of all cars have a networked dashboard camera in use, then virtually every car and every driver will be under constant surveillance. When you cut someone off or run a stop sign, the system will know. Good drivers will take advantage of the information that's created to get much better prices on their insurance (why shouldn't they?) which will completely transform both the insurance industry and the safety of driving. We've always been awash in data about how everyone drives, but until now, it's never been collected and turned into information, and that information has value.  Like it or not, the Wild West mentality of 'eat my dust' will be replaced by a privacy-free world of connected driving. Multiply this by healthcare, white collar work productivity and retail behavior and you quickly see a brave, new world.]

Who cares about privacy is a little like the weather. You can care about it, but it's not clear there's much you can do once surprise goes away and the engines of commerce and power kick in.

Welcome to the monoculture

Here's the local supermarket in a little town, way off the beaten path. And there, right next to the cash register, are Lindt chocolate bars--from Switzerland.

Here's the local radio station, thousands of miles from the epicenters of music culture. And the next song--it's the one that kids in every country in the world are watching right now on YouTube.

Monoculture doesn't always mean the status quo. They sell more salsa than ketchup now. It doesn't mean only the established brands win--you can find Kind bars and Teslas in more and more places.

What monoculture does mean is that the churn isn't local as much as it's national and worldwide now. It means the stakes are far higher, because the step from niche win to worldwide win is smaller than it's ever been before.

Your blog, your line of clothes, your song, your cause--there's more competition than ever before (by a lot) because you compete with the world now. And there's more upside, too.