Review of Poke the Box

Poke the Box by Seth Godin (http://sethgodin.typepad.com) could just be the coolest, most inspirational little book this side of…let’s see…I can’t think of one as good except maybe Tribes, one of Godin’s earlier books. That’s saying something, since I’ve been a literature teacher since 75 (1975 for you youngsters). I’ve read a lot of books and heard about thousands more. Hands down, Godin is the man for manning up, going for it, and just doing it.

Not just about business or success or entrepreneurial enterprising—though those are the primary subjects—Poke is about taking life by the horns, about carpe diem (seizing the day), manhandling your fears and resistance, starting, innovating, taking charge, leading, demanding the most from yourself and others, and just plain getting the job done, whatever it is.

“All around you,” Godin pokes, “are platforms, opportunities, and entire organizations that will come to life once you are driven enough and brave enough to contribute the initiative they are missing.”

One of the main problems with the world that he sagely identifies—saging is what Godin does best—is that very few people take the initiative, poke the box, draw the map, start something!  “Almost no one says, ‘I start stuff.’…Where is the VP of starting?”

Putting his money where his mouth is, Godin has started many wonderful things, including Squidoo.com, 12 books (that have become best sellers), and now The Domino Project (www.thedominoproject.com). Powered by Amazon, “The Domino Project is named after the domino effect—one powerful idea spreads down the line, pushing from person to person. The Project represents a fundamental shift in the way books (and digital media based on books) have always been published. Eventually consisting of a small cadre of stellar authors, this is a publishing house organized around a new distribution channel, one that wasn’t even a fantasy when most publishers began. We are reinventing what it means to be a publisher, and along the way, spreading ideas that we’re proud to spread.”

Very exciting stuff! As is this entire book—full of empowering, inspirational ideas, techniques, strategies, and encouragement for companies and people, large and small, ready or not. “You must make a difference or you squander the opportunity.”

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