Review: Unleashing the Ideavirus

5 Star, Best Practices in Management, Change & Innovation, Education (General)

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Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Gold Collar Guide to Fame and Fortune,

October 5, 2002
Seth Godin
Bottom line on this book is clear: the path to fame and fortune for “gold collar workers” (a term I first saw used by Robert Carkhuff in “The Exemplar: The Exemplary Performer in an Age of Productivity (Human Resource Development Press, 1994) consists of four parts: 1) establish a personal brand name by placing before the marketplace a *free* capstone idea, “manifesto” or other form of self-expression; 2) have a web-site with forwarding email that allows anyone who likes your idea to download it, read it, share it; 3) work hard at getting your idea to a few powerful “sneezers” (the author has an alliance with Malcolm Gladwell, author of “The Tipping Point” and also of the foreword to this book)–pay them if you have to; and 4) let the money flow in from the post-branding offers for speeches, consulting, and new books.I was initially inclined to give this book only 4 stars because it is not a traditional book with a lot of references (it does have an acceptable index) but I realized that the author not only accomplishes all he sets out to do, but the book is a real value in terms of both its financial cost, and time cost–reading this book certainly suggested to me several actionable ideas that will make my web site and my efforts to spread the idea of intelligence reform better. While the author is enamoured of “Fast Company” (the magazine) and works hard to pay back some favors in his text, the various web sites that he mentions, including Epinions, Planetfeedback, and Enfish, are generally relevant and therefore not objectionable.

There are two competing ideas in the book, both worthy of note–first, that the public attention span is so limited that most of the money is made in the first release/first sales period, and then one should move on; and second, that persistence pays and the real money is to be had from the post-branding streams of revenue. I believe this stems from the juxtaposition of how companies make money if they have the wherewithall to to churn the market with a lot of new offerings; and how individuals make money by establishing personal brand names–in general the author is strongest when dealing with what single individuals can and should do to take what they are really good at, package it, put it out (free), and then systematically reap residual financial benefits.

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