Poke the box by Seth Godin

This is by far one of the best short-books I have ever read. In fact, stop reading this blog and spend the time on reading the actual book. In any frame of reference Seth Godin gets the maximum points for this book. The format, content, technique of storytelling etc. It all comes in a well balanced format and package.
In many cases the authors has a great point but they dilute it in so many words and examples that you get tired or just confused.


The entire book is just like a quotation list. So many short but meaningful aspects and messages. The book starts by “the small is the new big” and “When was the last time you did something new!?“.

I guess you have to be in a certain stage of development or a time in your life to be susceptible to different things. I strongly believe that this book and the message in it suits most of us in the western world.

So, If you have couple of hours, this very short book is just the thing you need to ignite your personality and change some things to the better in your life.

I normally add some of my notes in my reviews. However, I had to calm myself down as the whole book became yellow from the marker (I read most of my book on a kindle!)

Here are some notes I took from the book:

  • Imagine that the world had no middlemen, no publishers, no bosses, no HR fold, no one telling you what you couldn’t do.
    If you lived in that world, what would you do?
    Go, Do that.
  • At page 4, read the seventh imperative. Incredibly insightful.
  • Human nature is to need a map. If you’re brave enough to draw one, people will follow.
  • When can you start?
    SOON, is not as good as NOW!
  • I define anxiety as experiencing failure in advance … and if you have anxiety about initiating a project, then of course you will associate risk with failure.
  • If your project doesn’t have movement, then compared to the rest of the world, you’re actually moving backward.
  • Having many starts with few successful ending is NOT a failure.
  • Somewhere along the way, ego became a nasty word. It’s not!
  • Let your ego push you to be the initiator.
  • If you have quality and they have quality and that is all either of you offers, then you’re selling a commodity, and I’ll take cheap, please.
    We have little choice but to move beyond quality and seek remarkable, connected and new.
    Remarkable, as you’ve already figured out, demands initiative.
  • Read page 22 about mediocracy.
  • Reject the tyranny f picked. Pick yourself.
  • Initiative is scarce. Hence valuable.
  • The world is a lot more complicated that it appears.
  • Excellence isn’t about working extra hard to do what you’r told. It’s about taking the initiative to do work you decide is worth doing.
  • Please stop waiting for a map. We reward those who draw maps, not those who follow them.
  • Keep starting until you finish.
  • The challenge is to focus on the work, not on the fear that comes from doing the work.
  • Ideas shouldn’t be like children. Protected and 2,3 per life time. It should be like a fish laying eggs, thousands of them and not very well protected.

Best of luck and read this book and pass it on to others.


3 Responses to Poke the box by Seth Godin

  1. Jane June 11, 2011 at 14:45 #

    Walking in the psrneece of giants here. Cool thinking all around!


  1. Bookreview Linchpin by Seth Godin | Blogs by Shahram Khorsand - July 13, 2011

    […] If you haven’t read any of Seth Godins books, this is a good start. If you have little time or not sure about the subject try “Poke the box“. […]

  2. Step 5/7: Create FLOW in your life! How & Why you ask!? | Blogs by Shahram Khorsand - June 19, 2011

    […] know is that THERE ARE NO RECIPES and if you need one, you are being misled. Seth Godin wrote in Poke the Box, “We reward people who draw maps, not those who follow them”. There is a lot of truth […]

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