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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." In "Song Of Myself," Walt Whitman acknowledges that he contradicts himself: "I am large, I contain multitudes." So are we, including Godin. So what? Get on with it!

He poked himself and produced this book and now hopes that what he shares in it will poke those who read it to poke themselves to DO something special. With all due respect to his street smarts and iconoclastic thinking, Godin remains an incurable idealist with a steadfast faith in the human race. "And that's why I published this rant...."
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on March 9, 2011
I signed up a while ago to get Seth Godin's latest manifesto, 'Poke The Box', then forgot about it. Last night I couldn't sleep, so I opened my Kindle, found it there and started to read.

Big mistake.

Not because it's bad. Actually, it's good. So good that my mind started racing about all the projects I want to start, but haven't yet. So good that I was tossing and turning about my Big Hairy Audacious Project and wondering if I'm being audacious enough.

And that's the point of this manifesto.

'Poke The Box' refers to those 'busy box' toys for toddlers, which have dials and cranks and buttons and make noise and flash lights. Do something and there is a response. The child's face lights up and wants more, so she pokes it more, discovering the joy of initiating stuff.

But somewhere in the system, we bleach initiative out of children, so when they become adults, the natural action is to conform, to wait for permission.

The message Seth Godin started in 'Linchpin' continues with his latest missive: Get Going, Do Something and Ship It. Initiative creates momentum, and momentum generates power.

The directness of the message in Poke The Box makes me uncomfortable. Because I really don't have any more excuses holding me back.

Making you uncomfortable is the point of this slim book. I'm sure that when you read it, you won't be able to sleep either.
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on March 5, 2012
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. :)

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on November 6, 2011
This is the fist book of Seth Godin's I have read. I must admit I was a little skeptical when I first saw the small size of the book.
My sketicism was quickly dismissed.
As I read, I felt engaged and excited about the message Seth was sending. Seth is giving us permission to get off of our chairs and start things, now! Most importantly, the book quickly establishes that failure is virtually guaranteed and learning from our mistakes is all part of the process. Imagine, given permission to fail, how liberating!

The morning after I read this book I found myself at work, ready to take a leap of faith on some thoughts and ideas I had. The courage this little book instilled in me paid off. Thank you Seth, for nudging me forward.

The message is simple but so very important, and Seth is able to support the message both logically and through his obvious passion(appealing to both the rider and the elephant!).

Take the time to buy or borrow and share this book. Spreading this message is important.
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on January 14, 2016
Unfortunately, this book did not live up to the hype and excitement generated from some of Godin's other books for me. I found this book to monotonously drone on about the same (shallow) concept to the point where I questioned why I was even pushing myself to read this book in its entirety. For a book that challenges the reader to start and initiate, I found it ironic that Seth didn't expand on the initial idea he introduced until the last 10 pages or so. Not to mention, the actual grand notion of the book, realistically, was something that anyone can come up with if they exercise a little thought. In a nutshell, the purpose of this book was to talk about the importance of initiating (far too much, in my opinion) and to teach the reader that choosing to be reserved and having a fear of failure leads to a crippling life of complacency and stagnation. Such an idea didn't really need to have a book written about it, especially by such a highly-regarded author. To use a quotation from the book itself, "this is so obvious that it physically hurts me to type it."
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on April 23, 2013
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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on April 20, 2014
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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on January 20, 2016
I read this book and really enjoyed it. It stirs up your thinking and challenges the way you look things. A couple years later and I've forgotten most of the book... but one things has stuck with me... "Just start something... I'm a Starter".
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on December 28, 2014
Good book. Made me think. His books are simple, the messages are simple just like many authors. It's up to the reader to act of what is written.
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on August 12, 2011
I admit : I am a huge fan of Seth.
I was not disappointed here.
Simply another kick in the b*** ?
well , we all need this once in a while.
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