#57: Read Seth Godin Books That I Haven’t Read

June 26, 2009

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#57 on my 101 Things in 1,001 Days List was to read all of Seth Godin’s books. I was already about halfway done, when I added this to my list, but then he just kept on writing books! Give a girl a break, and let me catch up! ;) If you’re unfamiliar with Godin, he’s a best-selling marketing and business author who writes “bite size” marketing books and a blog.

My favorite book of the 12 is Small Is the New Big: and 183 Other Riffs, Rants, and Remarkable Business Ideas. I like how this book is divided into alphabetized one page blurbs. While not all 183 are “remarkable” ideas, it’s a great way to bring you out of the details of getting things done on a day-to-day basis. It adds a little caffeine to your marketing day. This book is better listened to than read. I really enjoy listening to an audio book that’s narrated by the author, because it’s much more personal and you feel like you’re getting the right tone/inflections.

I just finished his last book, Tribes — We Need You to Lead Us.  As usual, it was a quick read and resonated with me in a Gandhi sort of way, “be the change you want to see in the world”.  This book isn’t on how to be a better leader, just about deciding to lead. I think my favorite thing was going to read the review on Amazon and finding this in the Editorial Review section:

“The advice found in this book should be used with caution. Change isn’t made by asking permission, Godin says. Change is made by asking forgiveness, later. That may be true, but in this economy and in certain corporations, it may also be a good way to lose a job.” –Publishers Weekly

Hilarious! Seth Godin, are you laughing?

My only critique with Godin’s writing is that he’s often too quick to dismiss stable and “boring” businesses. There’s a time and place for unconventional (that’s why it’s not called “conventional”). For example, I don’t want my toilet paper to be hip and clever– it’s just toilet paper. And it doesn’t matter how “outside the box” your company is if you’re still unprofitable. I am a huge fan of his books though, I just like to take everything with a grain of salt.  :)

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  • Bakari
    June 29, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    You’re right Godin does not give much credence to stable business models, even though I think he is more geared toward businesspeople who are trying to break into the market.

    Out of the three books that you say you haven’t read at the top of the post, “the dip” is excellent and I read it twice. “Tribes” I bought as an audio book and while he had great things to say, I’ll have to admit that it was highly repetitive. It is still inspirational though.