Customer Review

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "The world is a lot more complicated than it appears.", March 6, 2011
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This review is from: Poke the Box (Kindle Edition)
The basis of this self-help, inspirational business book is simple: don't fear failure, take the initiative. In short: poke the box.

I purchased the Kindle version of this book at the $1 special offer. The book edition weighs in at a slim 96 pages. Those 96 pages are mostly a compilation of aphorisms: "Life is a buzzer box, poke it." "The more you do, the more you fail." "Go to work on a regular basis." "Art is hard. Selling is hard. Writing is hard. Making a difference is hard." "Initiative is scarce." An occasional metaphor fills out the text: "Whether you're polishing a piece of furniture or an idea, the benefits diminish quickly. The polishing turns into stalling."

Between the aphorism and metaphor, Mr. Godin inserts stories of successful people who initially failed. "Talk to any successful person. He'll be happy to fill you in on his long string of failures." The assumption being that failure leads to success. No one wants to hear from the multitudes who never attain the summit of success. To Godin's credit, however, the only failure in his mind is doing nothing.

Unfortunately, as the author himself writes: "The world is a lot more complicated than it appears." Aside from the inspirational quips, this book is not only short in length but also short on substance. The world is more complicated than simple aphorism, and success is more complicated than poking the box.

If you need a poke of inspiration to get your initiative flowing, there's something here for you. If you're interested in substance, look elsewhere.

I understand there's an upcoming "Poke the Box: The Workbook." Perhaps the missing substance here will appear in the workbook, or perhaps Mr. Godin wants the sell me another book. Now that's poking the box!
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