on 25 January 2013
I `got' this book after only about 30 pages which came as a bit of a surprise. Some books ask you to accept the fear, overcome the worries and doubts, or cognitively change your behaviours. I interpret Godin as suggesting that we embrace these challenges, defined as your Lizard Brain, and make them integral to the Art of our journey.
Many books strive to explain authenticity and fall short. This book does not, I think, mention authenticity once, yet suggests to you a living plan of how to find it, nurture it, live it and love it.
Godin expresses Art not along traditional interpretations such as painting, sculpture, writing, acting, but as your everyday activity perhaps through delivering a service, an idea, an interaction, a meeting. And this for me was a breath of fresh air.
This has been my first Godin book - I doubt if it will be my last.
on 31 December 2012
I was part of Seth's Kickstarter so I bought this early, and reading is has totally fired me up to commit to creating and sharing my own art.
There were many parts of the book that resonated with me, but in combination with Steven Pressfield's Turning Pro, the message is really to pick yourself, and persist at the practice of creation.
"Creating art is a habit, one that we practice daily or hourly until we get good at it ... Art isn't about the rush of victory that comes from being picked. Nor does it involve compliance. Art in the post-industrial age is a lifelong habit, a stepwise process that incrementally allows us to create more art."
This book is useful for writers, but I would also urge parents to read it in order to understand the world your children are growing up in.The industrial world is disappearing. The old world of standardized exams, tick-box education and guaranteed jobs won't be there for much longer, and people need to be creative to survive the future. But more than that, life's too short to spend it doing something that isn't rewarding. So aim to thrive and not just survive.
I spent 13 years as an IT consultant, a miserable cubicle worker, rewarding myself with sugar and alcohol in order to make it through each day. In September 2011, I finally broke out of that old life, and I couldn't be happier. Sure, I have less money now, fewer trappings of (so-called) worldly success, but I am making my art, and this feels like real life.
I know some of you are struggling around the same issues, so as you move into 2013, I would recommend reading "The Icarus Deception" for some inspiration.
on 9 January 2013
Who do you want your customers to become? This is an important question, according to Seth Godin, the world's leading blogger on sales and marketing. This question is just one part of his latest book, The Icarus Deception, which tells us not to be afraid to fly too high.
Godin is left field of most business book writers that you will come across. He writes like Dr Seuss with more words but the same tipping from the insane to cold common sense truth. Perhaps he knows this is his style. In his introduction he has one sub head referring to "green eggs and ham".
Godin tells us that to be successful today, we have to be artists. Are local retailers artists? I think so. He does too.
On page 97 he shows a picture of a blackboard outside Joe Dough's store. It says: "Come in and try the worst meatball sandwich that one guy on Yelp ever had in his life."
Good retailers around the UK already engage with their shoppers like this. It is the art that gives them an edge against the multiples.
This book is not for everyone. 2013 is going to be a very tough year. Some people may be in survival mode and not into personal growth. They will not want to read this book. This book works like a scrapbook of ideas that you can dip in and pull some inspiration out of. They will find Godin's exaggerations and enthusiasms off-putting. They will find it too much like hard work.
But it is worth the hard work. I recommend you invest in a copy of The Icarus Deception because it is full of ideas that will inspire you. Godin gives you permission to be who you are.
He tells you to notice the word around you. In 1993 he looked at the web and wrote a book that told people what they could find there. He made $80,000. Using the same investment of time and effort that Seth had made, the guys who started Yahoo! made $80 billion. "A million times more than I did with the same information," Godin writes.
Then, he missed the big picture. But today he will help you see it. He writes about Joey Roth who makes a glass teapot. Most people don't care about glass teapots. But enough do to make it a viable business for Joey.
This happens in local shops too. Last week, I was in Ewelme, an ancient village in Oxfordshire, and its village store is amazing. Outside is a great billboard offering hot chocolate. I was tempted. Similar villages nearby don't do it anything like as well!
Godin says six things matter today: trust, permission, remarkability, leadership, stories that spread and humanity. We get better at what we practice, he writes.
Mass marketing (Wal-mart) is efficient but the internet has changed the game. He asks: What do you want your customers to become? "Amazon turned its customers into people who are restless with online stores that don't work quite as well or quite as quickly."
Think about it. What you want is shoppers who are raving fans of local shops. Your local shops. Godin's book will help you find them.
on 1 January 2013
This book is a real support for the artist, described by Seth Godin as the person - entrepreneur who makes a difference in society by creating change which connects people. The Connection economy as opposed to the Industrialist economy.
To be that kind of person/artist/linchpin, you have to abandon the status quo or comfort zone mindset. The value of art resides in the willingness to take risks and to become vulnerable (like the first time you speak in public), not by taking calculated risks nor by excel sheets with projected earnings.
The traditional industrialist economy is led by the million years' old lizard brain that always looks for safety and survival of the status quo.
Being an artist means living from the soul in a state of an abundance mindset, and embracing the lizard brain: it is because you can and will fail that new ideas can be born.
Some ideas will die, and therefore new ideas can be born. It is part of life.
New ideas create new ideas in turn: it is a process resulting from interactions and connections. Like a teacher improves his understanding by teaching and finally becomes a better teacher, i.e. by acting.
New connections create new connections
Who will your customers become after they have interacted with you?
Don't expect applause or approval from the critics: when your work depends on something out of your control you lose your soul, your artwork.
If you feel resistance, it's a good sign: it means that something new can be created, and is therefore not to be avoided.
Great book written from the SOUL
Every page contains something valuable that you can highlight with a marker.
on 14 September 2013
This book is like marmite. You'll either love it or hate it. I loved it because it made me think. It was food for thought and the ideas that Seth puts forward stayed with me long after I finished reading the book.
The essence of the book is "You Choose." You pick whether you do something well or not. You no longer need to wait for someone else to pick you. Don't queue in the long line of people waiting for the buffet table of life which has all the good things on. Or sit aggressively waiting for the phone to ring. The power is in your hands. You decide. Do you want to do what you want? Or will you just do what you are told to do?
Seth writes, "The rules keep changing and we might as well enjoy the process of changing them."
The ideas in this book resonated with me. In fact, I think that "The Icarus Deception" is even more relevant now than it was a year ago. And from my limited knowledge of marketing, I think it applies more than ever. It explains the world the next generation are growing up in.
In this brave new world, public relations no longer means a one-way communication with the public. It can be heavily affected by the public. And social media is the new voting system, so if you want your product or service to be found, you need to be social. Your role in this brave new world is bigger than you think. As a consumer but mainly as a producer. Embrace this new responsibility.
This means tearing up the old rule book. Seth Godin gives us instead some of his new rules:
"Learn to sell what you've made.
Say thank you in writing.
Speak in public.
See the world as it is.
Lead a tribe."
Do you see what I mean now? He may not be right. Love him or hate him, but the ideas Seth Godin puts forward in "The Icarus Deception" will give you something to chew on.
I would recommend this book who is struggling to understand the rules of the world their children are growing up in, or anyone who is open minded to the fact the rules have changed and needs inspiration on what to do about it.
on 20 January 2013
I must confess upfront to not being impartial, as I am a big supporter and fan of Seth's work and in particular this project.
That said, Seth Godin is on a mission to do something important with this book. Funded by a Kickstarter initiative, and smashing expectations from the beginning about the success of that, extending well beyond a book into a multimedia and multichannel experience, and as a public art-sharing project, with The Icarus Deception Seth Godin is imploring people to take control of their futures, in a world in which we all very much need to.
The book is an impassioned argument why it's time to question a few fables, and in particular the fables of the industrialised age.
Few people are getting to the core of what's changing in business today in the way Seth Godin does. His vision and passion will inspire you and blow away any cobwebs that may be lurking in your mind as he convinces you that the only way forward is to make a ruckus.
Read this book if you are interested in the future of marketing, of commerce, capitalism and brands, not least your own.
on 31 March 2013
If, like most people, you've ever experienced those fearful butterflies, right before making a presentation or challenging authority or speaking up in a group meeting, then I entreat you to pick up a copy of Icarus and read it cover to cover.
Because, in his inimitable and entirely accessible style, Godin teaches us to seek out this resistance, not to fear it.
Positioning us all firmly in the postindustrial age of `the connection economy', he explains how bravery and art are the currencies if this new world - where compliance and delivering against or exceeding the expectations of the authority might keep you within your comfort zone, but where that zone is no longer the safe place to be.
Personally, having been a people-pleaser and high achiever longer than I can remember, this book was my enlightenment: "The connection economy asks you...to not want or need or seek a map. Seek out questions, not answers." Rip up the rule book and fly towards the sun.
on 17 March 2013
I hope that Seth Godin reads this review to see my big fat "Thank you"!! You wrote this book for me. I am a total book junkie, I admit it. I love to read, and to go with the author on journeys of self-discovery. This book has affected me like no other, because I am that square peg that has never fit, but yet I've embraced my weirdoness as really understanding how life and people work, but allowed myself to be stifled by cogs and critics. I've never let myself be free to really be that "artist", that I know I am until this past year. The 5 star reviews say it all so well, but I just wanted to thank the author for being vulnerable, real, transparent, and cutting through all the BS. I did happen to read the one star reviews, and was amazed that although most said they've read all of Mr. Godin's books and were disappointed with this one...amazed that after reading...they still don't get it. They need the "cog" smacked out of them. Just kidding ;).
on 5 May 2014
A revelatory book that is very inspiring for those who are either stuck in the cogs of industry needing to break away or are lacking in self belief but know that a part of them has a chance to express themselves and their art. This is a must read for everyone. It certainly belongs in schools as a staple read.
on 21 May 2013
I'm slowly working my way through Seth Godin's books - not because they are a hard read (quite the opposite) but because it's like being whacked around the head by the best teacher you ever had and told to pull your socks up and get on with what you really NEED to do... not a message you need every day, just the occasional reminder.
I liked this one, but having read it and put it on the bookshelf I still go back to Linchpin for a bit of a Seth-Shock though. I don't think it matters which one you read first and they all overlap a bit, it's just important to read one and then go back to do your work - it's never quite the same again.