I suggest you don't Poke the Box


I’m sorry to say that the latest Seth Godin offering, Poke the Box, is not up to his usual standards. A huge Godin fan, I was really looking forward to reading this – especially after reading Linchpin and being inspired.

I have to start by saying I haven’t quite finished it (about 10 pages to go). I had hoped it would get better, but it hasn’t. I also admit to recommending it half way through and wish I could retract!

I also will admit to having just finished one of the best books I have ever read – What is the What by David Eggers, any book following it would pale in comparison.

Right. Excuses over. Poke the Box is meant to be a manifesto about how to ‘ship’. A good idea, but rather than introducing an idea, expounding on it and concluding, it seems to be an exercise in trying to say exactly the same thing 64 times, with different words. In short: if you have an idea, don’t keep it to yourself, do it, market it it, produce it, ship it. Um, that’s it.

One or two of the examples are nice as they always are, but nothing up to usual standard. I am a keen reader of Seth’s blog, and will continue to read it, but will be more circumspect about his next book.

By the way, I have to thank Drew Buddie (@digitalmaverick) for recommending What is the What. If you want a motivating book that shows triumph over adversity, success against the odds, vision when all is lost, then buy this rather than the frippery that is Poke the Box.

3 thoughts on “I suggest you don't Poke the Box

  1. I’d second that, Chris. Like you, a huge fan of his blog (I subscribe via Facebook these days so I don’t miss any of his posts) – but ‘Poke The Box’ didn’t hit the spot at all.

    I found Dave Eggers ‘A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius’ fantastic. And if you like that, I recommend Mark Oliver Everett’s (E out of Eels) ‘Things the Grandchildren Should Know’. Talk about triumph over adversity! 🙂

  2. I couldn’t agree more with the both of you, very disappointing. Having looked for a EPUB/PDF versions and not found one, I got impatient and bought the kindle version to read it on my phone during journeys to work. It was not a very satisfying experience; like you have said, Godin seems to simply repeat himself again and again.

    I followed it up with a much better read: ‘Focus’ by Leo Babauta. I read the free version available here: http://focusmanifesto.s3.amazonaws.com/FocusFree.pdf. A quick read about finding focus and improving your productivity that I would highly recommend.

    I hope that Seth’s next one returns to the standards set in Linchpin.

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