Book Review: Poke the Box by Seth Godin

Please stop waiting for a map. We reward those who draw maps, not those who follow them. – Seth Godin

Bottom Line Up Front: The latest offering from Seth Godin, Poke the Box, is his manifesto on starting. It resides somewhere between a high-tempo motivational speech and a swift kick in the butt. We should all read this quick book, and then pass it on.

Poke the Box is available through Seth’s new Domino Project, which is basically a partnership with Amazon to push the boundaries of traditional publishing. This allowed me to get my hands on a Kindle version of this book for $1 … but even at the hardback price of somewhere near $7.50, this book is worth it! You can really hear Seth Godin’s voice, passionate, loud, and on the verge of frustration: Just start! Get moving! Don’t wait for anyone else, stop listening to the excuses and to the fear, and go. (Sounds a lot like the message I like to footstomp.)

There are many nuggets of wisdom in here, and case studies of people who have already done it… but his message is clear: Get in the habit of “starting,” of initiating, perhaps to fail but to start again, to succeed, to start, to finish, and to start again. The current economic state and global trends are rewarding those who are doing something new, inventing, moving, and innovating… not those who can build the same widget the same way it’s always been done.

I recently purchased this book for the folks on staff here at the G42 Leadership Academy. It’s small size and quick reading format make it perfect for what it is intended to do: get people to begin “initiating”, and inspired to pass it on: both the attitude and the book.

I’ll leave you with a great quote from Seth Godin on what he calls our “moral obligation to start”:

I believe that if you’ve got the platform and the ability to make a difference, then this goes beyond “should” and reaches the level of “must.” You must make a difference or you squander the opportunity. Once you’ve engaged with an organization or a relationship or a community, you owe it to your team to start. To initiate. To be the one who makes something happen. To do less is to steal from them.


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be useful. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”