My Takeaways From The Book Unleashing The Ideavirus By Seth Godin

By Mike Maddaloni on Monday, April 12, 2010 at 04:00 AM with 2 comments

Are all ideas timeless? This question came to mind recently as I started reading Unleashing the Ideavirus by Seth Godin, a book which was released about a decade ago. I was aware of the book and I have read others of Godin’s books like Purple Cow and Meatball Sundae and found those books interesting and energetic, but what about a business and marketing book written just as all the dot-coms were failing?

As I thought about this, I kept my thoughts focused to what I do here at The Hot Iron, writing my takeaways from the book rather than an in-depth review of it. Keeping true to my theme, here are my takeaways from Ideavirus.

My greatest takeaway is on the way things have been done before – you most certainly can try to do it as before, and it may work or it may not. Display billboards may work in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, but not necessarily in Chicago. But in Chicago there is the desire by the new owners of the Cubs to have a Toyota billboard in the outfield of Wrigley Field. Is this the best way to spend money by Toyota? From the Cubs perspective it is, as it is new money, and they only have to look to Fenway Park of an example of this. Billboards won’t be going away anytime soon, but they may start to fade more where they are not as effective.

Another takeaway is on the use of hyperlinks within the book, and if you lose anything in the telling of the story when the links are no longer valid. Throughout the book there’s mention to companies who are no longer in business. There’s also links to those companies, as well as other URL links, which are no longer valid. With a move more and more to eBooks and the pervasiveness of the URL, how should this handled in telling a story? Does the story lose something when a link is broken? Or should there be a hybrid, where the link is present, but also in the story/book is a detailed mention of the Web site or page linked to and more written within its pages about the company or entity? In my opinion noting is lost with the broken links, but nothing gained from them either.

Unleashing the Ideavirus is a quick and energetic read, and you can read it for free in many formats. A PDF is still available here on Seth Godin’s Web site, as it was originally released for free. You can also read it in pieces from DailyLit, as I did. It is also available for sale, and clicking on this affiliate link to Amazon.com will allow you to buy Unleashing the Ideavirus. And even though almost 10 years own, I feel Ideavirus is relevant today, probably moreso with the proliferation of social media, which did not exist then as it does today.


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