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Poke the Box Hardcover – 1 Mar 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: The Domino Project (1 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936719002
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936719006
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 13.5 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 152,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Seth Godin is the author of Tribes, The Dip, Purple Cow, All Marketers Are Liars and other international bestsellers that have changed the way business people think and act. He's the most influential business blogger in the world and consistently one of the twenty-five most widely read bloggers in the English language. He's also the founder and CEO of Squidoo.com and a very popular speaker. He lives in Westchester, New York.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Book Description: If you're stuck at the starting line, you don't need more time or permission. You don’t need to wait for a boss’s okay or to be told to push the button; you just need to poke.

Poke the Box is a manifesto by bestselling author Seth Godin that just might make you uncomfortable. It’s a call to action about the initiative you’re taking-– in your job or in your life. Godin knows that one of our scarcest resources is the spark of initiative in most organisations (and most careers)-– the person with the guts to say, “I want to start stuff.”

Poke the Box just may be the kick in the pants you need to shake up your life.

Love the ideas in Poke the Box? Be sure to visit TheDominoProject.com for the latest news and special offers.

A Q&A with Seth Godin


Question: What does it mean to Poke the Box?

Seth Godin: Conformity used to be crucial--fitting in, not standing out. Compliance used to be the heart of every successful organization, every successful career. The reason? We all worked for the system, in the factory, doing what we were told. Now, though, compliance is no longer a competitive advantage.

Poke the Box is about the spark that brings things to life. We need to be nudged away from conformity and toward ingenuity, toward answering unknown questions for ourselves. Even if we fail, as I have done many times in my life, we learn what not to do by experience and doing the new.

This isn’t the same thing as taking a risk. In fact, the riskiest thing we can do right now is nothing.

I’ve had an extraordinary run, creating a dozen nationwide bestsellers, starting Internet companies and giving speeches around the world. The key thing I bring to the projects I take on is not more talent than most (I don’t) or even more hours than most (hardly). My contribution is a willingness to poke, to start, to lean into the project and to get it out the door.

Question: What will I learn from reading Poke the Box?

Seth Godin: Hopefully you will learn lots but do more. Start thinking about when you’ve taken initiative in a way that really meant something to you and your team, your family. When was the last time you did something for the first time? How did it feel?

There are no step-by-step how-to instructions in Poke the Box. Instead, you’ll find a series of layers, a foundation for taking a different approach to your work. Instead of learning to be more compliant, I want to push you to be the one who takes initiative.

Question: Why did you write this book?

Seth Godin: I’ve been fortunate enough to hear from almost a million people over the years, to talk with CEOs and bosses and customers around the world. And they all tell me precisely the same thing: it’s the motive force they demand, the person who will shake things up and move them forward.

Static is not an acceptable state. The status quo is no longer something we want at work or in politics or in any organization we care about.

The market is just waiting for people to step forward. I wrote the book for those people, the ones who’ve been hesitating to take the leap.

Question: Why did you start The Domino Project?

Seth Godin: The Domino Project is my latest attempt at "poking." It’s an independent publishing imprint founded by me and powered by Amazon. This is an opportunity to publish "idea manifestos" committed to readers, rather than being bookstore friendly. It’s named after the domino effect--where one powerful idea spreads down the line, pushing from person to person.

I have two audacious goals: I want to change the people who read (not enough do) and I want to change the way books are published (they’re too hard to find and spread). I honestly believe that a book can change a mind like nothing else, and that’s our focus. To help anyone to do work they’re proud of and to make a difference.

Question: Why Amazon?

Seth Godin: I partnered with Amazon so we could leverage what we both do best--Amazon is the leader in global distribution, multiple format production capabilities, and reaching people in the right way, and I want to spread powerful ideas to the people who want to read them.

For 15 years, Amazon has been building an audience and gaining our trust. Many surveys identify them as the most-trusted new brand in the world. Now that Amazon is interacting with more people more often, they have a chance to bring those customers new ideas in innovative ways. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to bring ideas worth spreading to a huge and eager audience.

Question: Who is Seth Godin?

Seth Godin: I’m an author, entrepreneur, and a person who starts things.

Review

“Seth Godin may be the ultimate entrepreneur for the information age.” --Business Week

“It’s easy to see why people pay to hear what he has to say.” --Time Magazine

One word reviews for Poke the Box


“Embarkable.” --Annie Duke, world poker champion, author and talk show host

“Rut-reversing.” --Sarah Jones, playwright

“Essential.” --Jill Greenberg, photographer, manipulator.org

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By The Philosophical Materialist on 2 Jan. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
As much of Seth Godin's book encourages you to stop procrastinating and act, what better time to write my first Amazon review. I think Seth has followed his own advice in writing this book and just got started, although maybe his actions were ahead of his thoughts. Sadly, it could have done with a few more ideas, better examples and a lot less nonsense. For example, Seth describes how the `lizard brain', fearful of being wrong, will discourage implementing some new innovative idea, and how we should always act if the cost of inaction outweighs the cost of action; fine so far. But in his example he states that the cost of being wrong in almost any sales, marketing, human resources, software or management innovation is less than the cost of inaction. Is that so? Is he being naïve here or simply oversimplifying to try to hammer home a point? This happens in too many places, and overall the book has the feeling of being ill though through, lacking in real experience and has the smell of the self-help, snake oil salesman that sends me running for the hills.

While some may benefit from a book which endlessly repeats a few simple ideas, I sadly do not. There is real skill in reducing complex ideas to simple principles, however, I would say that Seth lacks this skill and simply misunderstands or deliberately distorts any complexity in decision making and demonstrates this repeatedly in his writing. Unfortunately, this all serves to undermine some simple and worthy ideas that underlie this rather tedious and patronising text, such as the virtues of being an initiator, an innovator, overcoming fear of failure, etc.

This is certainly not worth the reduced price of 99p, or indeed worth spending any time reading. Avoid.
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97 of 103 people found the following review helpful By M. Henderson on 22 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have a pretty high tolerance for generalisations and unsubstantiated claims in management books. Usually they have enough concrete information to fill an HBR article then the author spreads it out with fluff to fill a book. But this book breaks new ground with a fluff to fact ratio of about 99% (though it is true I can't be bothered substantiating my claim...). If you are into self help books maybe you'll love it - it is basically watered down Tony Robbins.

Here is a typically profound excerpt from a section titled 'How to Walk to Cleveland':

'You decide to walk to Cleveland. So you take a first step in the right direction. That's starting. You spend the rest of the day walking toward Cleveland, one step at a time, picking your feet up and putting them down. At the end of the day, twenty miles later, you stop at a hotel. And what happens the next morning? Either you quit the project or you start again, walking to Cleveland. In fact, every step is a new beginning. Sure, you're closer than you were yesterday or last week, but you're still heading toward Cleveland. Keep starting until you finish.'

If you found that excerpt inspiring, I thoroughly recommend the rest of the book.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 4 May 2013
Format: MP3 CD
I have been compelled to read this book as part of a training session run by the company I work for. I am an avid reader and tend to be reasonably resilient to management fluff, but this book takes the biscuit as it's also hugely patronising in its approach. And how contradictory could it be that a book aimed at non conformity could end up being made a compulsory tool for a training course? I know this isn't the author's fault (at least I hope not...), but it does demonstrate that no matter what one could possibly write about his own life's journey and how to ideally break out of the mold, somewhere, somehow a poor bastard will hit his head against the brick wall of daily reality. Poke away if you like this sort of stuff, and I know there must be loads of Seth's fans out there, but I certainly will run a mile if I see another book from him.
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By Syriat TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In Poke The Box Seth Godin refers to this book as his manifesto, it is written as such with no steps or regimen or any real conclusion. What it does try to do is motivate and inspire the reader to be an initiator and not fear failure. Its high octane approach (no section is two pages and its written as if the author is in a hurry to put his point across) uses some stories, well known and not so well known ones, to try and push the agenda forward. It uses the term ship a lot as if the intended audience was shipping a product, perhaps its aimed at IT professionals. However, with no real guidance and just a lot of inspiring words this may well fail to deliver its intended result, to stop people being passive in their jobs and start being initiators.

I admire the way that Godin is so passionate. I believe that learning from failure is extremely important and its something I use in my work a lot to motivate individuals who are struggling. However, the lack of substance and the overall lack of anything resembling a coherent way forward lead to this being a patchy read. I have taken some things from the book. But they are more from me reflecting and then making several leaps, you are not going to be able to use anything on show here directly. If you want an inspirational book that espouses the above ideas then this is for you. If you want a management book with lots of guidance and structure then you should avoid.
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