Poke the Box Review

Hard to describe what this book really is, but it’s best summed up as a pop-business-philosophy-motivational book. Godin repeatedly emphasizes the importance of starting things through a variety of anecdotes, truisms, and mini-essays. It’s a short read, but can be very valuable for anyone who is stuck in there job or anyone who has not quite pushed that great idea out from their brain to their fingertips.

Pros: 
Easy to read (and recommend to others)
Great, quotable statements throughout
One of the better books I’ve read on “getting started”

Cons: 
On the simple side
Basically one idea repeated in 100 ways, albeit interesting ways
Starting is only half the battle in my experience

It’s really a good read and you can’t beat the price. Pick up a copy and you may find out that you have been stuck at square one for awhile. The quote below is one of the best in the book, and summarizes the thrust of the entire book.

“What’s the disctinction between carrying around a great idea, being a brainstormer, tinkering-and starting something?

Starting means you’re going to finish. If it doesn’t ship, you’ve failed. You haven’t poked the box if the box doesn’t realize it’s been poked.

To merely start without finishing is just boasting, or stalling, or a waste of time. I have no patience at all for people who believe they are doing their best work but are hiding it from the market. If you don’t ship, you actually haven’t started anything at all. At some point, your work has to intersect with the market. At some point, you need feedback as to whether or not it worked. otherwise, it’s merely a hobby” (45,46).