Friday, 4 March 2011

Book Love: The Purple Cow Plus..(Part I of II)

..Two other books for which I’d willingly stake my reputation as a book nerd. Or to put it simply, three books I’d give away to people who like me, love reading. None of these of are old or pretty thick, though one is what others may call a breezy read, some are not even novels, but all three of these titles surprised me in that they somehow made me stop and (weep/cry/woop) errrr, reflect about my personal task of living and thriving.

1. The Purple Cow by Seth Godin

Yes, I am a Seth Godin groupie. In my opinion, he and Malcolm Gladwell are the guardians, the true purveyors of business books for wannabe-entrepreneurs. I have read most of his books (though I have to say, I don’t exactly like his latest offering, Tribes). His books are primarily geared for enterprising people (read: those who are in or planning to go into business), but I strongly believe that the stuffs he shares are things we can apply in our everyday life. Among his books, I love the Purple Cow best. What is the purple cow? In the words of Seth himself:

Cows, after you've seen them for a while, are boring. They may be well-bred cows, Six Sigma cows, cows lit by a beautiful light, but they are still boring. A Purple Cow, though: Now, that would really stand out. The essence of the Purple Cow -- the reason it would shine among a crowd of perfectly competent, even undeniably excellent cows -- is that it would be remarkable. Something remarkable is worth talking about, worth paying attention to. Boring stuff quickly becomes invisible.

The world is full of boring stuff -- brown cows -- which is why so few people pay attention. Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product or service. Not just slapping on the marketing function as a last-minute add-on, but also understanding from the outset that if your offering itself isn't remarkable, then it's invisible -- no matter how much you spend on well-crafted advertising.

This book is a call to arms to throw out the “good enough” attitude in favor of the more difficult task of being/ becoming R-E-M-A-R-K-A-B-L-E. Because Seth Godin is a marketer/entrepreneur, the stories and examples are usually business-centered but he also emphasizes how imbibing this idea, this quest, on a personal level leads to success.
Seth Godin actually wrote an article in 2003 about the Purple Cow. I guess it is the inspiration that led him to writing a whole book about it. Here’s the link to that article, for those who are interested: In Praise of The Purple Cow.

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