Written Posts

Poke the Box

2 Comments 01 March 2011

Godin is always putting a new spin on marketing and what it takes to be more successful in what you’re doing. His new book, Poke the Box, is no exception to what we’ve seen from him in the past. However, there are a few takeaways that are unique to this book that I feel are important to share.

First, Seth’s innovative approach to promoting his books is something that is inspiring. Rather than taking the path of the status quo, he’s chosen a unique path encouraging sharing and spreading the message. For example, for every 10,000 people that signed up for his new Domino Project newsletter he reduced the price of the Kindle version of the book by a dollar. The goal was to get it down to $1. Guess what, I bought it for just a buck. Cool experiment in giving an incentive, but only after getting something in return from the customer. The Domino Project itself is intriguing and I encourage you to check that out.

The second take away from this book I liked is that it was straight forward and to the point. For me, less than 100 pages should be enough to make a point. Anymore than that (in a business book) and I think authors start to stray off topic while they push for page count. Seth does a nice job of illustrating his point in less than 100 pages and didn’t leave me wanting more. Of course, I know I’ll get it daily through his blog. I think what’s interesting in the new media world of blogging writers is that people have new expectations for content. Content is expected to be more consistent and evolve, but it can come in smaller doses at a time. At least maybe in business writing.

My third takeaway is how Seth has taken the idea of the Linchpin and pushed it to the next level. I believe there is another level he still hasn’t tapped into, but he makes a great point in Poke the Box for people to initiate, start, and ship projects. He makes it sound like it should be easier to do than people allow, but as you read the book you can sense frustration in the way he sees how many people operate. Still a great message that I hope inspires people.

The final takeaway from the book I’ll share (for now) is Seth’s fight and misunderstanding of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. He has chosen not to engage in these sites and rather just syndicate his content there. I understand his perspective as he, as a writer, does not see the value in spending his time there. In Poke the Box he even states in reference to participating on Twitter or Facebook, “If you can’t fail, it doesn’t count.” There is plenty of failing on these platforms. For him to put blast on them just outlines how much he doesn’t understand about using them. Seth is brilliant, but I don’t believe he is in a position to criticize users of the space like he did.

Overall, I am a Seth fan and Poke the Box did not disappoint me one bit. Some may say I follow his ideals too much, but as I’ve shared here I don’t hang on every word. Many of them, yes, but not all. I’ll always walk away with some inspiration most likely. Thanks Seth.

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