Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Poke the Box by Seth Godin

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 static, but we act as if it is. Your position in the world is defined by what you instigate, how you provoke, and what you learn from the events you cause. In a world filled with change, that’s what matters — your ability to create and learn from change.
Poke the Box is a manifesto about producing something that’s scarce, and thus valuable. It demands that you stop waiting for a road map and start drawing one instead. You know how to do this, you’ve done it before, but along the way, someone talked you out of it.
We need your insight and your dreams and your contributions. Hurry.

I was given this book as part of a promotion of The Domino Project.
Good motivational/self-help/quotable book. If you need a kick in the butt, this is a good read for you.
Lots of good examples and quotes.

25% test (p. 21):
"...mediocre as long as the product, the service, or the organization isn't totally broken.

There's never a problem getting a posse together to fix the broken. The upside for you (and the challenge) is to find the energy and the will to challenge the mediocre.
When in doubt...
Look for the fear. That's almost always the source of your doubt.
Where did the curious go?
If you visit Penguin Magic online, you'll see video after video of stunning mind-reading, metal-bending, shoe-tying magic. And in the videos, the magicians are on the street, performing for passersby. A well-done illusion leads to a lot screaming. The audience can't believe it. It's a miracle! Satan! And then, curiosity.

"How did you do that?"
Every once in a while, I'll perform an illusion or some technical shortcut and someone won't ask how. People have been indoctrinated so completely by their jobs that they don't want to know how something works, they're willing to accept that perhaps the law as of nature don't work as they expect, and by the way, can I have the remote?"

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