Crazy Read 2018 – Poke The Box


BOOK #27

Book Title:     Poke the Box

Author:          Seth Godin

Length:          83 pages

Score:             6/10

What I Loved 

Quick, easy read. It was only 83 pages!!! And with my focus on the online courses more than normal these days, it was nice to have a smaller one to add to my list.

Will I hit my 75 this year? Who knows. But I will not stop!

Poke the Box was pretty good. That is how I would describe it. It was not the worst book I have read, but while I got a few good stories and thoughts out of it, I forgot it the second I put it down and had no desire to look at it again. This is may be harsh sounding, but I am realizing that in this process of reading 75 books this year, I am becoming a bit of a book snob!

Marketing guru Seth Godin wrote an amazing book about stepping up and doing new and different things for your company. Don’t just settle for nothing. Don’t sit and just whine about life. Get up and do it!!! One small crazy action at a time. Even if it is completely outside the box

One section that I really liked (and even made a note on) was Page 57:

Ten Thousand Hours, Hard Work and an Overnight Success. 

Hollerado is a band that you might have just discovered. But they’ve been poking the box for ages. Here’s a letter they sent to a blogger Bob Lefsetz (I edited it just a bit):

We come from a small town in Ontario called Manotick. We have been touring relentlessly for 4 years. For our first American tour, no one wanted to book us.

So, instead of booking shows, we drove as far away from our homes in Canada as we could get. We would then show up at venues where a show was going on and tell them we were 2,000 miles away from home, had a gig booked down the street but it somehow fell through. “Would you guys mind if we played a short set here tonight?”

IT WORKED! We played countless shows this way. Since we rarely got paid more than a few drinks and sometimes pizza, we needed to make gas money. We had a laptop with the tracks to our demo CD. We would go to Best Buy, get a CD burner and a couple spindles of all blank CDs.  We would burn a hundred demos in the parking lot and then return the CD burner to Best Buy.

We would then put the demos in Ziploc bags. (Hence the name of our first record … “Record in a Bag.”)  Once we had a stash of demos, we would drive to the nearest mall and set up shop in front of Hot Topic (probably the most shameless thing we have done for out band). We would stand there for hours, with discmen and demos, asking anyone who would stop to take a listen if they wanted to buy a demo in a bag. We could sell the discs for 5 bucks and still make $4.50 to put towards gas.

We did this for 2 years. Anything to avoid having a real job, right?………  My punch line. Four years of doing something new, seeing what works, and doing it again. And again.

The music business is hard, and these guys are working it. And the same time, typical bands are still playing some coffeehouse down the street and whining about how hard it is to get a label to discover them.”

Godin makes his point with an interesting story. “Try something new.”



What I didn’t love

I love Seth Godin but didn’t LOVE this book. Poking the Box felt a little disjointed and it didn’t catch my attention very easily. For 83 pages, it felt like it took WAY longer to read. I am pretty sure it is just the style that it is written in (short blurb style stories and ideas) that felt off to me.

Who I would recommend it to

I actually don’t know.

Would I read it again 


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