Book Review: Poke The Box

images courtesy

Godin, Seth. Poke the box : when was the last time you did something for the first time? Domino Project / Do You Zoom, 2011.

When Poke the Box was published this spring, I ordered it immediately.  Seth Godin’s previous book, Linchpin, had become a best seller in 2010 and Purple Cow had been in demand at the Ford Library since it was first published in 2003.  The Dip (2007) was an amusing little book that explained the art of strategic quitting.

The publisher described Poke the Box as a manifesto on taking initiative at work, becoming the person who provokes change and learns from it, instead of remaining the person who waits for instructions.

Unfortunately, when Poke arrived at the library, it proved to be 84 pages of brief, disjointed pieces, most less than a page long.  The brief format and superficial content seemed more suitable for a blog, and a mediocre one at that.

Example. page 23:

When in doubt…

Look for the fear  That’s almost always the source of your doubt.

That’s the whole piece.  No explanation of the idea is offered.  Ironically, this piece follows the piece headlined “Why is this mediocre?

Another example, page 59

The market is obsessed with novelty

So go make some.  We’re tired of your old stuff

While many people could benefit by taking action toward change, instead of reacting passively, reading this shallow book is not time well spent. Not recommended.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

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