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on January 31, 2008
I don't know what came over me in the bookstore. Mysteriously, when I got home, this book was at the bottom of the bag. It's an embarrassment.

I would have thought it impossible to come up with something more stupid, more openly contemptuous of the very managers purportedly being 'helped', than the horrendous "Who Moved My Cheese?" of a few years back. You remember, the one which portrayed employees as mildly retarded rodents. But one shouldn't underestimate the intellectual arrogance of the consultant class, nor the gullibility of corporate management.

This book is infinitely worse. It turns out that there is no apparent limit to the degree of atrocity of the rubbish that can be generated (and printed) in an "unprecedented collaboration of the world's smartest business thinkers". Despite the separation of material in this book into separate chapters, there is no individual attribution of responsibility for the individual chapters. This is not a good sign.

Seth Godin, the nominal 'editor', obviously sees no problem in publishing a book which, for any concrete piece of strategic advice that is included, hedges its bets by also advising the diametrically opposing strategy. Thus, to succeed companies should:

1a. Stick with what they know and do it well. (Focusing on your specialty is key).
1b. Not get stuck in the rut of what they know, they should branch out. (Focusing on your specialty is fatal)
2a. (page 23) "ignore your customers" (the customer is ignorant and wrong).
2b. (page 64) the customer is always right.
3a. (page 31) "Every organization that gets into trouble falters because it waited too long to change...". (urgency is crucial)
3b. (page 136) "Remarkable doesn't always mean right now" (urgency is detrimental).

And so on. Because chapter authors are not individually identified, should your coin toss happen to choose the wrong option between 1a and 1b, 2a and 2b, 3a and 3b, there can be no assignable blame.

However, at least the examples above have the virtue of giving concrete, specific advice. If that makes you nervous, there is also plenty of this kind of gibberish:

Plant rocks.
Embrace the power of storytelling.
Ignore the regulations. (I'm trying to imagine how this would play out in, say, the pharmaceutical or biotech industries).
Imagine there's a tiger loose in your office. Breathe the fear. Fear is good.
You are not a cog. You are not ordinary. In fact, you are remarkable.

But if you're dumb enough to buy this book, you're a complete moron. Even by the extraordinarily lax standards for business advice books, it sets a new low.

Zero stars.
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on June 30, 2015
Originally I rented this book’s audio edition from my library so I could listen to it while exercising. Loved the book so much that I purchased the hardcover.

This may be Seth Godin’s best book , even better than the ‘purple cow’. And, yes, It is Godin’s book because he conceived the idea and talked all 33 (or better: 32 + himself) into writing this book.

The book’s concept is a genius. The topic is the Big Moo, which cannot be defined by one single person. The Big Moo is not a riddle but the fluent four dimensional quality of an extreme purple cow, which keeps on having purple calves (“the calves” are my personal definition, Godin does not say so in his book). Logically according to their different home environments and (business) circumstances, these calves need different “nourishments to grow”, just like Austrian or Swiss cows who live on high pastures eat different foods than cows in the flatlands of the Netherlands, Indian ‘holy’ cows, or even yaks in Nepal or Tibet.

By inviting so many different brilliant contributors, Godin circles the topic, allows different concepts, perspectives, and facets to shine, which together create the puzzle of a portrait of the Big Moo, a purple cow which keeps having calves.

My favorite stories (I listened to them three times)
• How to be a failure
• This is your first test
• The remarkable Gertrude Bell
• The one thing you can’t download
• Ten Things Smart Start-ups Know
• Fire the Gatekeepers

Bittersweet was the story, “Tear down this wall”. My kid brother Michael had told me that the wall was about to come down in 1988. Since I had had traveled Berlin, seen the wall, and even crossed over at Checkpoint Charlie, I told Michael to “not be silly.” About a year later, when indeed the wall came down, I stood corrected. Sadly Michael, my brilliant brother, died four years later from Multiple Sclerosis. Still, it made me proud again that he saw the signs nobody else saw.

5 stars for the Purple Cow and 6 for the Big MOO,

Gisela Hausmann, author & blogger
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on February 22, 2017
I found this book to be an inspiration for those wanting to stand out. What amazed me was that the stories are about people that were not contacted but appear with strong convictions. To my amazement, one of the chapters entitled, Hells Angles at the Captains Table is about an individual who is strong willed and passionate about what they've set out to do. It's ME!!!!! What an honor especially to date, over 12 yrs later, I'm still going stronger than ever and have made s positive mark in a vision! Thank you Seth!!!! ETA Motorcycle Cruises, LLC
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Seth Godin, editor of the book, has collected 33 inspiring ideas and they become _The Big Moo_. The Group of 33, as the book references these successful business people, includes Mark Cuban, Dave Balter, Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters, and Guy Kawasaki. The aim of the stories or ideas is to show what it takes to become remarkable.

The book's title comes from Godin's previous best seller, _Purple Cow_ which shows how to stand out in a world of brown cows. According to the book's synopsis, "... sometimes you need something even bigger than a purple cow. You need a big moo — an insight so astounding that people can't help but remark on it."

While _Purple Cow_ focuses on standing out, it lacks the second and very important step — getting others to talk about your business. Standing out alone doesn't lead to business. How do people find out about you? That's what _The Big Moo_ is about — sharing ideas and real-life examples of how to get people talking.

"Some Things Just Don't Translate" points that the way we see our products may not be the way customers see them. Sounds obvious, but it isn't. An Italian in the house ware business opened a store in the U.S. His foot traffic wasn't match by sales. He observed his customers and remained baffled as to why they were looking and taking an interest, but not buying.

He asked a customer how she liked the store and merchandise. It turned out that what Americans considered vases, Italians saw as glasses — and vice versa. The owner, of course, was selling glasses of six in a case and vases as singles. Americans didn't want to buy six vases — they could've bought six glasses with ease, though. This type of valuable advice appears throughout the book.

Most essays clearly get the point across although a couple aren't as strong. The book does what it sets out to do: motivate the reader to get out there to put ideas to work to develop a remarkable organization that gets everyone buzzing.

Though the book explains the contributors gave up their by-lines for the book, I would've liked to know who wrote each story. There's no way to guess who wrote which story as few of them relate to the businesses associated with the people. What does knowing who wrote it do for me? It tells me who made the observation or how the person thinks. It's like sharing a quote without the author's name.

It's an easy, gratifying, and fast read. I read the whole thing in about an hour. Each essay is about two pages on the average. All the proceeds from the book go to three charities.
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on July 20, 2008
For a book that's about being remarkable, it's ironic that this is so unexciting. The book had a lot of potential - but with the exception of two or three pages, it's a huge letdown.
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on January 4, 2008
Mr. Godin makes a valid point about superstar Harry Houdini. As a magician, he was a great escape artist. When he opted to play to his strengths with escapes that were public spectacles, he became world famous. One point that may be missed in the discussion of Houdini was that he was a tireless self-promoter, something that contributed to his name recognition even now, some eighty-two years later.
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on September 9, 2012
Inspirational, irreverent, insidious and irresistible, this is a very big moo in a very slim volume. One of the books strengths is its eclectic collection of 33 divergent points of view on the theme of business innovation. Recommended.

Some sample quotes

p.12 "...It's awfully tempting to embrace the role of impatient outsider. It's fun to be the big thinker who is always dealing with the bureaucracy, bitter that your best ideas always get turned down or ruined by management. After all, you can't be criticized for ideas that never see the light of day. You can remain the secret genius that you think you are."

p.40 "...It takes courage to do what you want. A lot of other people have a lot of other plans for you."

p.46 "...You can't shrink your way to greatness."
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on January 28, 2011
Antes de mais nada, não confundir com "A Grande Mudança" (The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google) de Nicholas Carr, que trata de TI - Tecnologia da Informação.

Além disso, sugiro ler a resenha de "A Vaca Roxa" ( Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable--Includes new bonus chapter )de Seth Godin antes, pois esse livro é uma espécie de seqüência.

Imagine a seguinte situação: um livro lança uma idéia sobre Marketing do Inusitado que vira sucesso de vendas. Depois seus leitores, convencidos de sua relevância, pedem por sugestões de "COMO" implementar inovações inusitadas. Então o autor convence 32 grandes autores* do mundo dos negócios a darem suas contribuições. Eles topam. Mais que isso, eles topam fazê-lo (de forma inusitada) de graça. E ainda mais, cada um colaborou com um artigo, mas não o assinou. Ou seja, você sabe quem são os 33 colaboradores, mas precisa tentar adivinhar quem escreveu cada artigo/sugestão.

Bem. Isso é "A Grande Mudança. Não tente ser Perfeito, comece a ser Notável", editado por Seth Godin.

A tradução do título acaba soando meio "genérico", meio "garrafada-de-centro-da-cidade", e esconde seu verdadeiro propósito original e seu vínculo com a Vaca.

O título original em inglês - "The Big Moo" - algo como "O Grande Mugido", para quem sabe da Vaca Roxa, fica auto-explicativo. Infelizmente em português, além da eventual confusão com o livro homônimo de Nicholas Carr, o título acabou ficando diluído, atenuado, fraco até. Talvez porque tenha saído, aqui no Brasil, por editoras diferentes, a segunda deva ter evitado ajudar a vender o primeiro... apenas suponho.

Enfim. Não se leve pelo fraco título: o livro é muito bom.

Tem excelentes sacadas. Permite leitura interrupta, pois cada artigo independe dos outros, e não tem seqüência. Compõe com o Vaca Roxa uma reunião de excelentes idéias não somente para profissionais do Marketing - Comunicação, mas principalmente para profissionais envolvidos em desenvolvimento de novos produtos, serviços e negócios. DNA e adrenalina de inovação pura.

*Lista alfabética dos Colaboradores:
Alan Webber, Amit Gupta, April Armstrong, Carol Cone, Chris Meyer, Daniel Pink, Dave Balter, Dean DeBiase, Donna Sturgess, Guy Kawasaki, Heath Row, Jackie Huba, Jacqueline Novogratz, Jay Gouliard, Julie Anixter, Kevin Carroll, Lisa Gansky, Lynn Gordon, Malcolm Gladwell, Marc Benioff, Marcia Hart, Mark Cuban, Polly LaBarre, Promise Phelon, Randall Rothenberg, Red Maxwell, Robin Williams, Robyn Waters, Seth Godin, Tim Manners, Tom Kelley, Tom Peters & William Godin.

Sem dúvida faz pensar bastante.

:) < / >.
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on January 12, 2009
im so happy, that in xmas came across with seth's -purple cow-
now in finishing -permission marketing- which i highly recommend
i work in radio as creative and image voice

and think that i have a new view of how to change my copy style
and attack to radio image advertising

but not only that i think seth helps in refocusing the world we live in
good book to readapt in 2009
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on March 30, 2006
How do you generate and implement remarkable ideas? The Big Moo offers, presents, describes, exhorts, and otherwise introduces (at least) 70 ways to be remarkable. The "Group of 33" include Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters, Guy Kawasaki, Amit Gupta and others, each of whom provided one or more mini-chapters.

Interestingly, the proceeds from the book are being donated to charities and the authors' specific contributions are anonymous.

Great, fun reading on your next flight.
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