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Why You Probably Don't Need to Read Seth Godin's New Book Linchpin – Unless You Do

Image representing Seth Godin as depicted in C...Image by http://www.prestonlee.com/archives/67 via CrunchBase

I&;m going to keep this book review fairly short because it won&39;t take much to convey whether you should read Seth Godin&39;s new book.

You probably already know who Seth Godin is, so I&39;ll skip that.

Maybe you heard he has a new book out. It&39;s called Linchpin. The most remarkable thing about it, and Seth loves talking about being remarkable, is how he marketed it. He offered 3,000 preview copies to anyone who donated at least $30 to his pet cause The Acumen Fund, which helps address global poverty. I was more interested in the cause than the book, and I&39;m very happy I donated a little more than the minimum and participated. I wasn&39;t the only one who gave more, as Seth raised over $100,000 just for this, and probably much more.

So about the book…

You should read it if…

  • You hate your job
  • You hate your life
  • You just need some kind of pick me up
  • You like self-help
  • You will read anything that Godin writes ever

You should not read it if…

  • You&39;re reasonably happy
  • You can&39;t stand self-help books
  • You don&39;t get why people are so into self-help books
  • You were expecting a marketing book and not a self-help book

Okay, I&39;ll admit it, I&39;m not a huge devotee of the self-help genre. But I do appreciate that there are times when anyone needs someone to motivate them to do a little more, be a little better, live life a little fuller – stuff like that. If you need this, read it. If not, eh…

Your call.


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Comments to: Why You Probably Don't Need to Read Seth Godin's New Book Linchpin – Unless You Do
  • Avatar
    January 25, 2010

    I disagree with your perspective on this book. You seemed to have chalked it up as another self-help book and missed an opportunity to think about it from another perspective.
    In your work, are you teaching people to be average or make a difference? I suspect it is the later. Do your clients and co-workers think of you as an Artist? Are you easily replaceable? What about your employees? Are they Linchpins or replaceable commodities? What kind of people do you want to work with? hire? be friend? love? What about the products your company produces? What about this blog post? Does the reader think they should ignore you or deem you worthy of following? Are our schools teaching our kids to be linchpins or to be ordinary? Is your local government ordinary?
    I’m not implying any personal by these questions. I am only suggesting Godin’s material has many more uses than you are giving it credit for. This book is not inside the self-help box, it is on the bleeding edges. I’d urge you to re-read it with a different perspective.

  • Avatar
    January 25, 2010

    I really appreciate your thoughtful response here. Yet your response also sums up why I'm still convinced few people should read this book. You write, "In your work, are you teaching people to be average or make a difference?" Is this a new concept at all? Does everyone just need to wake up and say "I'm going to make a difference today!" and they're all set? Did anyone come up with the "good to great" concept before (I guess they did). So I don't see what this adds to the self-help, self-motivating pantheon.

  • Avatar
    January 25, 2010

    Thanks for this post, David. I’m glad you wrote it.
    I’m not sure there are a lot of unknown facts about marketing left to write down. If that’s what people are seeking, they’d be better off without this book.
    I like mysteries, I just don’t like bad ones. Science fiction too. I feel the same way about the genre called self-help. If a book helps me make a decision about my future, it’s a bargain. If it crosses genres and includes sociology, history and economics while making its case, even better. I’m hoping that the research I did and the arguments I make help a few people plan a better future. Judging from the response so far, it seems to be working.
    Of course, you can’t please everyone. Even to try invites failure.

  • Avatar
    January 25, 2010

    Good review point here David, I think its a good book for some people and not so good for read for others,As Seth replies “Of course, you can’t please everyone. Even to try invites failure.” This sentence represents how remarkable his book is truly,Because I got a mixed response here on your blog but a cool positive video on David Meerman Scott’s blog.


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