April 13, 2011

The *Shipping* News 2: Thoughts on Seth Godin’s Poke the Box – Make Your Own Map

As we said in our last post, we are participating with The Domino Project, Amazon’s new effort around publishing some of the greatest current thinkers out there: Seth Godin, Derek Sivers, Steven Pressfield. In Poke the Box, Seth encourages us, nearly commands us, to “ship” more regularly. To take action through initiation and actually bring something to life into the market. So, as we at Covalent embark on “shipping” more regularly, the executives decided to reflect on what we walked away from Poke the Box learning. And more importantly – what we were going to do about it (like launch a new website while everyone is crushingly busy, undertake new partnerships, develop a new offering…).

In our last post we covered Ryan’s perspective. In this one, our CTO, Stanton Willins shares his view on Failing


“The fear of failure has paralyzed many of us from ever trying new things. In fact, some would say we’ve become victims of our past successes. Our fear keeps us locked up in our little safe zone afraid that if we fail the worst will happen (“Go Directly to Jail, Do Not Pass Go”). However, if you don’t put yourself out there to potentially fail, you will most likely never get a chance to succeed either. Seth Godin’s book Poke the Box is about feeding our intellectual curiosities, like when we were children: no barriers. We’d go where imaginations led. And while inevitably some of our ideas will be failures and other will be successes, we should choose to make our own maps rather than wait in fear to hand us someone else’s.”

I don’t find it odd that Stanton chose maps. Since he snowboards, I see every powdered mountain in need of a person unafraid of finding his own way. There again, is of course, being the non-conformist – making your own trail. And I imagine, when you are just starting, there is a fair amount of falling down – which is simply a small form of failing over and over again until you find your balance.

We are sharing what we’ve learned. If you are going to #MIS2011 – The IBM Unica Conference for Marketers in Boston in May – please come by our booth and ask us. We have copies of the book for people who let us know to save one for them. You have to initiate a little, but look at it this way, it’s worth it.

#PoketheBox, #MIS2011, @covalent_mrktng, @hermione1, @swillins

To see more of Cristene’s thoughts about Customer Experience, Marketing Process, and other general musings, you can read them on her blog Muse and Maven.


Cristene Gonzalez-Wertz