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Small Is the New Big and 183 Other Riffs, Rants, and Remarkable Business Ideas Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 17, 2006
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This is not criticism--it's factual praise. Godin understands the new world and its demand for blended information technology--the blog is the column is the chapter is the book . . . And he practices what he preaches.
The book itself, like any collated book, is uneven. The author challenges readers to select any ten "posts" and dares them not to be changed. I suppose the simple statistical possibilities would suggest that a random sampling would lead to some motivational, challenging, and helpful posts and some less so. That has been my experience.
I will say this, he is always interesting, passionate, self-assured. Of course, many of those late-night infomercials are the same. But in fairness to Godin, his ideas, while not novel, are much more useful than the self-serving infomercials. It's just that they are not as useful and unqiue as they seem to claim to be. After a while the claim to remarkability becomes a constant dripping that causes one to wonder just how remarkable (purple-cow-like) any of it is. In other words, less telling us how remarkable it is and just be remarkable.
First of all, there are some great ideas in the book. Most have to do with marketing and product development. Even better, however, is that many essays teach you how to think up your own ideas.
Second, Seth is an extremely talented and funny writer. I found myself laughing out loud several times as I was reading. Like all great humor, it was never gratuitous and served to support the point he was making.
Third, the individual essays are short enough so that you can pick it up and start reading without making a huge time commitment. Each essay is self contained, so you can stop just about anywhere without interrupting a long chain of logic. (This is manna to an "agile project manager" like me.)
Finally, I find it truly inspiring. After I read some of it I feel renewed and excited about working.
Don't miss out on this informative, inspiring and entertaining book.
I'd suggest keeping notes of your thoughts as you read this collection of blog postings, and please don't try to read it all at once. Your brain will hurt! That being said, I highly recommend this book if you're someone who enjoys stretching your mind and considering various perspectives.
Once again, Mr. Godin has helped to "validate my existence" (despite my intense self-certainty!) by showing that the crazy, "outside the box" (hey, can we just shred the box, then burn it in effigy of the outdated strategies and the consultants who promote them?), simplifying, forward-looking, remarkable, visionary adventures we can lead our clients and companies on are really worth the effort. In short, less is more, small is big, and remarkable is just that: REMARKABLE.
This book is REMARKABLE. I strongly encourage adding it to your shelf, then spreading the virus of its contents to others.
P.S. The entire ending "Bonus Section" on blogs and other resources is something not to be missed, and single-handedly justifies the purchase.
As for the content: it's excellent. Inspirational even. Seth Godin is one of those visionary, charismatic types - even if his voice gets a bit whiny and annoying at times. Although I'm not someone who is in the "new media" industry - I still found his points of view the sort that spur people to action no matter what field they are in.
Last note: at $30, get the iTunes/mp3 version and save yourself a few bucks.
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Reach of amazing and inspiring content
Seth is a genius