Over Halloween weekend, I read Seth Godin’s newest book, Poke the Box. I find it fitting that I read this tiny tome between bites of fun-sized Snickers and mini Reese Cups. Although full of little nuggets of wisdom, this book is not hearty enough to satisfy those with a deeper appetite for insight and motivation.
Please don’t get me wrong. I like fun-sized candy. And I enjoyed Godin’s book. Ultimately, though I was disappointed that he didn’t give more. I suppose it’s a positive that he whet my appetite. He just didn’t deliver the main course.
What is Poke the Box about? To borrow a phrase, (Nike’s phrase, to be exact) Godin tells us to “Just Do It”.
He makes a significant point – that what is lacking in our world is not education, talent, skill, vision, or creativity – but (my word) gumption. He sees offices full of dutiful followers, universities pumping out fearful dreamers, and a culture which often confirms that risk is…well… not worth the risk. Godin defines this risk as “starting something”. He also emphasizes that truly starting something involves finishing it. (Those who have been following my Good Idea series will know this is a stand out point for me)!
Do I recommend Poke the Box? Yes, I do, as a starting point… and perhaps this how Godin intended it to read. You’re sure to come away with an emotional sense of “Yeah, I really should just DO this thing that I’ve been thinking about for months/ years/ ever”. This is not a bad thing. Godin’s book cheers you on, (“You can do it, you can do it, rah, rah, rah”), but does little coaching (“Yes, you can do it, and here’s a workout you should do every day so that you can succeed on game day. I’ll do it with you for a while”).
Neither a book – nor a blogger- can solve all of your problems, or walk you all the way through life’s twists and turns. Godin doesn’t claim this, but his claims are a little too lofty for what Poke the Box delivers.
Read it? Yes
Savor it? No