Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Book is in very good condition. There is no writing or highlighting, spine is tight and the pages are uncreased. We ship within 1 business day. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Poke the Box Hardcover – March 1, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 394 customer reviews

See all 27 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
Hardcover, March 1, 2011
$2.47 $0.01

Navigate global markets with Barron's digital membership Learn more
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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? Check out our Domino Project page for other format options, such as a 5-pack or 52-pack carton of books to share or the limited deluxe edition, which includes the book with a letterpress jacket, a specially designed signature plate signed by Seth Godin, and a letterpress poster. Be sure to also visit TheDominoProject.com for the latest news and special offers.
Daniel H. Pink Reviews Poke the Box

Daniel H. Pink is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Drive and A Whole New Mind, which together have been translated into 31 languages. Read his guest review of Seth Godin's Poke the Box:

Let me begin with a professional and personal disclosure: If Seth Godin weren’t a friend of mine, I would probably hate his guts.

He makes those of us in the word-slinging, meme-spreading trade look like a bunch of ne’er-do-well slackers. He is so preposterously creative and so endlessly productive--a new blog post every day, a new book every year, dozens of efforts to raise money for charity, Squidoo, the Domino Project, and more--that I once suspected "Seth Godin" was really a cover name for an army of elves toiling in a work camp near the Hudson River.

But after reading this remarkable book, I’ve discovered Seth’s secret: He’s willing to poke the box. To start. To initiate. To begin. That’s all.

Indeed, the message of this book is so profoundly simple and so simply profound, I can encapsulate it in a single word.


Don’t cogitate. Don’t ruminate. Don’t plan on getting started or wait for permission to begin.


Of course, that’s a little scary. Starting is a risk. Things might not work out. You could flop. But one theme of this book--and it’s a theme that you should write on a rock, imprint on your brain, and inject into your bloodstream--is that we ought to be much more concerned about mediocrity than failure. "If you can’t fail," Seth writes, "it doesn’t count."

Like the man who produced it, Poke the Box is inspired and inspiring. I’ll place it on my shelf alongside two other extraordinary books: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. If you enjoyed those two, you’ll love this one. It will simultaneously stir your heart and kick your butt.

Which brings us to a final question: When should you get started on that project, that business, that work of art only you can deliver to the world?

Seth has the answer to that, too: "Soon is not as good as now."

In other words, go. --Daniel H. Pink

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.




—Annie Duke, world poker champion, author, and talk show host

—Sarah Jones, playwright

—Jill Greenberg, photographer, manipulator.org --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: The Domino Project; 1 edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936719002
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936719006
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (394 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #549,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Related Media

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Guy L. Gonzalez on March 15, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Poke the Box should have been titled Tribes: The Remix as Godin brings nothing new to the table other than a relationship with Amazon and some promotional pricing gimmicks. It's his usual mix of paper-thin insights and exhortations to be bold! to lead! to ship! -- but with notably less energy or conviction than usual, as if he wrote it in between blog posts over a rare quiet weekend.

I pre-ordered the Kindle version and read it in a total of about 2 hours, and would still rather pay full price for the hardcover version of Tribes, a far superior book that I not only devoured and raved about 2.5 years ago, but bought copies for my entire staff at the time, and still recommend to people on a regular basis.

Perhaps the most interesting idea in the book gets buried in his Stuart Smalley-esque shtick:

"One reason organizations get stuck is that they stick with their 'A' players so long that they lose their bench. In a world that's changing, a team with no bench strength and a rigid outlook on the game will always end up losing."

It's a concept worth exploring further, and one that fits perfectly under Tribes' philosophical umbrella, but in Poke it's an odd aside that gets glossed over.

One of Godin's running themes throughout Poke is to be an initiator, and that risking failure is the best road to achieving success, and by making Poke the Box the first offering from The Domino Project, he's practicing what he preaches. He initiated, he shipped, and he pretty much failed to deliver a good book.

Now the question will be whether or not "Powered by Amazon" and his marketing gimmicks have introduced him to a wider audience than Portfolio, his previous publisher, could have, and whether or not The Domino Project's bench is deep enough to give this publishing experiment real legs.
Comment 178 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not too long ago, I read and reviewed Seth Godin's "Tribes." While it was very thought-provoking and filled with an incredible array of ideas, it was also wrong- headed in many ways, I felt.

So I ordered "Poke the Box" with some trepidation. What I've learned is to re-calibrate my expectations from Seth Godin. While I might want a well-thought-out and researched treatise proving the latest idea to me, Seth Godin overwhelms me with his passion and force. Rather than resisting and arguing with Seth (I do this especially as I read what he writes!) I decided this time to listen carefully and take away from the book what I could. Besides, for one dollar as a Kindle book, how could I go wrong! This, by the way, is part of Seth's exciting new strategy for getting books out to people through non-traditional means. "Poke the Box" is the first book being marketed by Seth using the Domino Project and its strategies. It is, in fact, the first is a series of manifestoes.

If "Poke the Box" communicates nothing else, it presents this one message with a megaphone voice: "Go!" "Start now." "The worst thing you can do is nothing." Already, I find myself arguing, since I know that just doing things without careful planning first has led to many disasters. But I keep reading because Seth is so insistent, and he has such a large tribe following him, telling me that maybe he's worth listening to.

But I think I know what Seth means: he means that you've got to be out there trying and risking failure, or you'll be irrelevant. There are too many people out there and too many tribes so that if you do nothing or are too cautious, thinking that you can control the whole process, the chances are you'll end up marginalizing yourself.
Read more ›
5 Comments 149 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As background, I absolutely love Seth's work. I read his blog daily and within the past year finished The Dip, Tribes, and Linchpin.

Having said that, I'm hard pressed to give this manifesto more than 3 or 3.5 stars. While the content is certainly motivational and inspiring, the overall message and theme felt the same as his other aforementioned books. In other words, the material didn't seem fresh. There were several sections that I felt were extremely similar to his earlier work (sometimes even the examples were the same) but just not in the same depth/detail.

For seasoned Godin readers, I think you can safely skip this one.
For new readers to Seth's work, I'd steer you towards Tribes and Linchpin first instead of this manifesto. You'll get more information, understanding, and background story to many of his key points.

In the end, it's still a nice kick in the pants to get started. Do something. Now.
Comment 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a last minute add on to another purchase. An impulse purchase like buying a candy bar while checking out at the grocery store. My advice to you is "put the candy bar down." I don't mind wasting $5 dollars ( which is the most insightful thing I learned from this book), but I am upset at the other reviewers for letting me down. I kept reading this book wondering why it had 4+ stars.

The punchline of the book is, Just start doing something. I just did. I hope this helped you.
6 Comments 179 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I picked up Seth Godin's "Poke the Box" in the new arrivals shelf at my local library. It's a neatly packaged book - 5"x7"; 84 pages long with 95 headings written in what I guess is 12pt font. Why is this important? It hopefully gives you an idea of the depth to which the author bothers to explore any of his points.

The "book" comes across as a stream-of-conciousness rant that randomly but frequently repeats "start something" as a mantra or a nag: "Blah blah blah, start something. Blah blah blah initiate." Irritating. It is ill organized with little to no connectivity between ideas which often contradict each other. It's as if the author collected loosely related blog posts and threw them together in a book. Lazy. The coup de grace is his suggestion on how to share the ideas in his manifesto: "Give away copies [of the book]. Lots of them." The audacity!

The tragedy for me with respect to this book is the opportunity wasted by the author to truly inspire and motivate his readers. The again, maybe this was an experiment by the author & publisher to see if it's possible to feed attractively packaged crap to blind followers to check if they will not only eat it, but call it delicious. Insulting.
Comment 46 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews