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Poke the Box [Hardcover]

Seth Godin
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 1 2011
We send our kids to school and obsess about their test scores, their behavior and their ability to fit in. We post a help wanted ad and look for experience, famous colleges and a history of avoiding failure. We invest in companies based on how they did last quarter, not on what they’re going to do tomorrow. So why are we surprised when it all falls apart? Our economy is not static, but we act as if it is. Your position in the world is defined by what you instigate, how you provoke, and what you learn from the events you cause. In a world filled with change, that’s what matters — your ability to create and learn from change. Poke the Box is a manifesto about producing something that’s scarce, and thus valuable. It demands that you stop waiting for a road map and start drawing one instead. You know how to do this, you’ve done it before, but along the way, someone talked you out of it. We need your insight and your dreams and your contributions. Hurry.
--This text refers to the Audio CD Library Binding edition.

Frequently Bought Together

Poke the Box + Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us + Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
Price For All Three: CDN$ 41.20


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Product Description

From Amazon

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 organizations (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

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "And that's why I published this rant...." March 4 2011
By Robert Morris HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
I have read and reviewed all of Seth Godin's previous books and thus was especially interested in his latest because about all these thirteen books have in common is their author. What will he come up with next?

As it turns out, he views himself as a "box" and has poked it to begin, to complete, and then (his term) to "ship" (i.e. publish) a book in which he affirms his thoughts and feelings about why it is (his word) "essential" for all of us to take the initiative to accomplish something (anything) "that really matters." No more waiting for approval and permission from anyone else. No more self-serving alibis. No more delusions and denials.

Long ago in a book he titled The Book, Alan Watts observes: "We need a new experience -- a new feeling of what it is to be 'I.' The lowdown (which is, of course, the secret and profound view) on life is that our normal sensation of self is a hoax, or, at best, a temporary role that we are playing, or have been conned into playing -- with our own tacit consent, just as every hypnotized person is basically willing to be hypnotized. The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego."

Here we are, 41 years later, and Godin encourages, indeed strongly urges his reader to cast aside what Watts views as a "temporary role" and come out from behind a "mask" that conceals a "separate, independent, and isolated ego." Build something really special. Try lots of stuff. Find a need and fill it as best you can. Seek out unfamiliar territory. Be careful but not cautious. Be bold but not foolish. Expect to fall down and then get up. Expect to make lots of mistakes and learn from each. Ignore "them" and what "they say.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm Initiating! April 23 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
It got me off my butt and gave me the courage to find a way where there was no way before.

That's not precisely accurate. The way found me, once I was willing to get started.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reading this book soon is not as good as now March 5 2012
By J. A. Broad TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you've read anything else by Seth Godin and liked it - GRAB THIS BOOK as it's a good one! If you are feeling like you can do more but you are lacking motivation or inspiration - GRAB THIS BOOK. If you are afraid of trying and failing - GRAB THIS BOOK.

And as he says - soon is not as good as now.

Full of motivational words and tidbits to get you off your butt and STARTING, it's well worth grabbing a copy and then sharing it with others while you get working on whatever it is you need to do to make an impact.

WARNING: if you're afraid of getting nudged you should probably not get this book. It will be hard to sit in the status quo once Seth's ideas get in your head!!

His perspective on innovation is worth reading about in addition to his inspiration to get started. He suggests organizing for Joy and challenges the methodology many big companies use to handle customers, basically saying if you have to put it in a manual, the chances of amazing someone are quite low. Joy comes from surprise, connection, humanity and new ... and that is hard to regulate.

And remember, if you're afraid of failure: ideas that don't get spoken ALWAYS fail. :)

Enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Get Poking your ideas out there..... April 20 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Poke the box is about getting started and seeing an idea or project through with out a boss or someone picking you to do it. Its about taking initiative and doing something. Get poking the box of your ideas and start failing at it so you can start seeing success in your life. This program is very true and if you don't want to hear the truth and get motivated, then don't buy this product! Stay miserable at your job the rest of your adult life.
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