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Poke the Box

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  12,537 ratings  ·  788 reviews
We send our kids to school and obsess about their test scores, their behavior, and their ability to fit in.

We post a help wanted ad and look for experience, famous colleges, and a history of avoiding failure.

We invest in companies based on how they did last quarter, not on what they’re going to do tomorrow.

So why are we surprised when it all falls apart?

Our economy is not
Hardcover, 85 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Do You Zoom, Inc. (first published January 17th 2011)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,537 ratings  ·  788 reviews

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Riku Sayuj

Half way through the book, I had decided that this book merits only a one sentence review: Seth Godin, surprisingly, turns out to be Mr. Obvious.

After finishing the book, I have realized that this would not be fair. I particularly liked the section on Intellectual Integrity and Seth's point that anyone not putting his ideas into the world is actually stealing them from the world and should be treated as such. Yes, every section in the book is repetitive and makes the same exhortation again an a
Kate B
Jul 11, 2011 rated it did not like it
Hey look, I started a negative review! Look at me poking the box! In fact let me take even more initiative and tell you in one sentence what he wrings torturously into a 'book': successful people are the ones that aren't afraid to try something new and fail, repeatedly, so you should get off your ass and take initiative in all aspects of your life.

While I don't disagree with his thesis, Godin's book is dreadful to read. It's not a lengthy book by any stripe, but still ends up being way too long
Mar 29, 2011 rated it liked it
It's difficult to argue with Seth Godin's logic. He is incredibly quotable, yet when you read him you have the nagging impression that he isn't saying anything you don't already know. This seems truer in this short, quick read than in any of his other books.

I don't think he would argue the point. In fact in Poke the Box, he basically says that very thing when encouraging the reader to do what you see needs to be done. We shouldn't have to say it. But if everyone knows it, then why aren't they do
Shog Al Maskery
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My brain is bursting with ideas I want to share with the world on my YouTube channel!
James Cridland
Apr 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've worked out what Seth Godin does, and it's very simple. He takes one valid and interesting thought, and writes it in lots of different ways to fill a book.

What Seth has done in this book, I discover, is that he's had one good idea, and expanded on it, repeatedly, to make a book out of it.

Seth's a clever man, because essentially this book is full of one concept, which he's phrased and paraphrased, over and over again, to comfortably fill quite a lot of pages.

What's kind of happened here, you'
Mar 16, 2011 rated it did not like it
Um, pretty empty...

Hm. I'll agree it's a rant. It has a manifesto feeling to it, but jeez, it really doesn't say much. I'll summarize:

* Let's adopt an inappropriate metaphor: a friend made a black box with switches and buzzers and such and gave it to his son, who poked at it. Poking the box = doing stuff even if you might fail. Uh, what?
* Okay, now let's encourage everyone to try stuff, embrace the possibility of failure, because otherwise, great things won't happen. Okay, cool.
* But that's abou
Are you the box needing a poke?

Wow. Seth Godin’s newest book Poke the Box has been out for a mere 3 days, and I notice there are already 14 reviews on Goodreads and 46 more at Blogger buzz was singing high notes in my feed reader.

As an author it’s easy to feel the green monster of envy breathing down your neck, for Godin has quite a tribe of sneezers (as he calls his vocal audience of idea spreaders). However I’m someone who’s feeling mighty grateful for the energy he’s stirring up.
Ryan Agrimson
May 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Poke the Box by Seth Godin is the kick in the butt everyone may need. Poke the Box encourages all minds to start up and go. It's good to have ideas, and it's even better to set those ideas into fruition. Godin mentions that one of the largest contributors to holding people back from great things is FEAR. Fear to offend others. Fear of being uncomfortable. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. He makes a compelling point that this may happen, and the better you are, the more it will happen. Not nec ...more
Mar 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
POKE THE BOX is mainly for entrepreneurs (both social and business), but since the author claims: "This is a Manifesto about Starting," it could also be a book about Life. It features Seth Godin's hallmark style of taking every day things and helping you see them from a fresh and motivating perspective. The title comes from thinking about a child with a buzzer box (the kind with switches, some lights, and other controls that result in lights blinking, buzzers buzzing, etc.). A child will start p ...more
Mar 20, 2011 rated it did not like it
A nearly empty book of 84 pages. Godin comes up with an obtuse metaphor for starting (Poke the Box!) and then twists it 15 different ways. He never settles on a solid thesis. Along the way he mangles the language, puts way too much emphasis on failure and way too little emphasis on quality. I've liked Godin books in the past, but this one read like a rushed series of blog posts mashed together. Some fault falls on the editing since ideas contradict each other within a few pages. Laying out the c ...more
Sosi Demirtshyan
This book was a bit boring . Seth Godin said nothing new this time, nothing special, just the same idea again and again, during the whole book: "just poke that freaking box, goddamnit" :D
Ryan Martinsen
May 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Another book I'll be reading and listening to over and over.
Rachel Dixon
May 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: work
Good for a kick in the ass on a lazy day, but otherwise this is a lot of reiteration of a simple point. Have an idea? Do something with it. Then do it some more. Don't be afraid.
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
Life is a buzzer box. Poke it and see what happens? Fail, succeed, fail, fail, fail, succeed—you get the idea. The box reveals itself through your poking, and as you get better at it, you not only get smarter but also gain ownership. Mathematicians call this a function. Put in one variable, get a result. Call and response.
The essence of being human is to initiate. But we’re not left to our own devices. We are smothered by parents, snubbed by peers, scolded by teachers, organized by authorities,
Monica Silva
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: monica
Start poking!
Georgina N
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
Not bad.Summarized all the motivational phrases we have heard from now and then.
When feel blue ,read it .It's worth it .
3 stars and not more: because it was too typical in some points.
3 stars and not less : It's a cool reminder of what we should do at moments when we doubt ourselves the most.
Cyd Madsen
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's.Godin. Nothing more to.say

Caution: Do not read if you can't tolerate a swift and blunt kick in the butt, or appreciate the value of failure.
Oleksandr Golovatyi
Seth Godin became my one of the favorite authors right after the book "Purple Cow". "Poke the box" ("Пробуй, не зупиняйся", "Poke the box - original book title) is also quite interesting and useful. This little book about innovation, about doing something new over and over again. Do not be afraid of changes, and on the contrary, make these changes yourself. No need to be afraid of mistakes. Mistakes are good, you need to learn about them, and become smarter and stronger. (English)
Ajinkya Kale
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was ok

An 85-paged manifesto or a rant, as the author calls it, Poke the box, falls into the columns of cliche. But.. Okay. Let's first talk about what is scribbled in those 80+ pages. The wisdom.

Seth Godin has made the book look even more easier by cutting down the words in each chapter. There are only about 20-30 words in each chapter, and anyone can read it inside an hour or something. There are not more than 20 chapters and each one is direct. To-the-point. Poignant and Crisp. The chapters
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Megankellie by: The Internet
This guy totally had me until he pushed my personal buttons.

Some Questions: Is the whole "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all" rule some kind of a regional thing? When you add four beers to yourself and you go on and on about something you don't like, your very raw feelings--are you finally admitting honest feelings which you have repressed or have you been chemically altered into a beer-fueled asshole? When you die, will St. Peter make you openly admit your true
Aaron Goldfarb
Feb 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Seth Godin's new book "Poke the Box" could be a companion manifesto to my book "How to Fail." Forgive my arrogance in saying a thirteen-time bestseller's highly-anticipated new book could be a companion to my own, but Seth essentially says in "Poke the Box" that egomania can be good. Especially when it turns you into an initiator.

"Poking the box" is Seth's call for initiative. We live in a world predominantly without initiative, where people would rather maintain the status quo than shake things
Chris Shank
Dec 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
This was a fun little book, with catchy neologisms (‘unbrainwashing’) and turns of phrase (‘reject the tyranny of picked’) that markets well as a novelty. The title derives from a story about a father who designed a toy for a child that was respond with lights and sounds to manipulation and ‘poking’. Poke the Box is about the need to do something, better now than soon, to initiate change. It very much follows, without naming it, the Gandhi-principle, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” ...more
Apr 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
Book Review
Poke the Box by Seth Godin

Published by Do You Zoom, Inc. © 2011; 96 pp.

Yes, that is the cover of this book. Go figure. Seth Godin is supposed to be some kind of management guru, if you were to listen to his fans and his self-promotion. It was for this reason that it seemed like a good idea to read his latest book. It wasn’t. Godin writes in sound bites. Either he has spent too much time composing for Twitter or he has too many thoughts trying to spill out at one time – or some other r
Janette Fuller
Apr 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: social-media
Seth Godin has written a book that will challenge you to start...initiate...begin...GO!
This is a manifesto about starting. Starting a project, making a ruckus, taking what feels like a risk.
This is not a book about thinking about it or making a plan.
It is about going beyond the point of no return...leaping...committing...making something happen.
This book is about having the guts and the heart and the passion to ship. The challenge is getting into the habit of starting. The desire to move for
Nov 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
If you're looking for scientific statistical analysis for the recipe of success, the book is definitely not for you. This book is a manifesto that aims to rally people to start innovating that not only stops at ideation but goes all the way and takes risk to execute it and find out if it works or not.

This book is to encourage us to abandon our fear of 'this might not work' but to really find out if it works. This book is also for managers or organizations that adhere to 'failure free' policy an
Sep 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This whole book can be summed up in one word: "Go." However, folks won't buy a one-word book, so Seth Godin spent a few more electrons to elaborate on what form that might take.

For me, the simple message is that when I spot something that I wish someone were bringing into being... I can be that someone. Having done this a few times before, I know this, but by gum, it's easy to forget it.

Inertia takes over, and we find ourselves back on the couch wishing that someone would just do something abou
Apr 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
A short and sweet bit of cheerleading for taking action, for what that's worth. My favorite anti-fear/laziness hack is when he invokes the moral case for frequently trying and failing. "Wasting the opportunity both degrades your own ability to contribute and, more urgently, takes something away from the rest of us." I'm always a sucker for arguments reminding you to see the "unseen" too in your analysis.

The Buddha quote at the end is nice too "There are two mistakes one can make along the road
Daniel Messer
Jun 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
If you want to know anything about my attitude toward work, and I mean working in libraries and in my own studio, this is the book you need to read. Don't worry. It's short. You'll get through it in a couple of hours, if that.

Seth Godin really didn't say much I didn't already know, but he said it in a way that I couldn't. Basically, I have no problems taking chances and acting on something I think is a good idea. I have no fear of failure in this regard because failure is usually a first step to
Aug 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
As one reviewer said about Godin, he's eminently quotable but you get the sense that he isn't saying anything you don't already know. I agree. Especially with this book.

One sentence synopsis: If you aren't trying new things, you should be. Not just as an individual but as a business, as an institution, and as a society. Bonus sentence: We (the royal we) need to get past the point of being so critical of failure. What we need to be more critical of are those who never try anything new and always
Dan Mattson
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In spite of the choppy style of writing and shotgun approach to presenting ideas and illustrations, the common thread comes through clear - It's time to start something and make something happen, even if you fail. In fact failure is a good thing as it eventually leads to success. When we were young, we dreamed and did stuff because we wanted to - at some time in our lives we learned to stay in the box, fit in, etc. ANYWAY - TIME TO START SOMETHING, ACT ON AN IDEA, DO SOMETHING OUT OF THE NORM... ...more
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Seth Godin is a bestselling author, entrepreneur and agent of change.

Godin is author of ten books that have been bestsellers around the world, and he is also a renowned speaker. He was recently chosen as one of 21 Speakers for the Next Century by Successful Meetings and is consistently rated among the very best speakers by the audiences he addresses.

Seth was founder and CEO of Yoyodyne, the indust

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