Review: Free Prize Inside by Seth Godin

Down and Dirty: 4.75 out of 5

Seth gives some honest, do-able steps in innovating and realizing audacious goals and incredible new things.

A follow up to Purple Cow, Free Prize Inside is a response to the ‘but how do I make a Purple Cow?’ questions Seth repeatedly got asked.  The truth, and Seth is quite open and clear about it, is there is no easy or single answer.

That’s the point: for you to be the map maker.

However, Seth does go on to explain some of the obstacles that might stand in the path of your Genius idea and how one could possibly go about conquering them.

“Inventing is fun. Championing the idea is hard.”

The book first talks about championing the idea. On top of a few real life examples of how other ordinary people with often no power or authority were able to get ‘Free Prize’ type ideas to be accepted and implemented. Seth suggests either learning how to champion ideas by gradually learning or finding someone who will champion the idea for you.

Again Seth reiterates that the status quo is dangerous, but this time he talks about how you can point this out, and shake up a meeting with your research and explanations about how staying as the company currently is will lead to so much insecurity and dread.  Then he says how to show how your idea could help rescue the company.

Perhaps the part I laughed most at was the ‘components of a successful presentation’.  He explains Powerpoints should be supplementary information – NOT cue cards for you to read from.  Oh MAN how I’ve wanted to try and explain this to people.  But it’s scary to not use notes … and yet it will bring you much further along in connecting and convincing the people around you.

If you read this book only for the championing techniques and the presentation skills you’ll more than get your money’s worth.  But there’s more! Seth goes on to talk about the myths of brainstorming and why 5 people alone will brainstorm four times more ideas than those same five people brainstorming together.

This is also where Seth explains about the ‘dandelion mind’.  He explains that ideas in secret die and you shouldn’t keep them to yourself.  What matters is coming up with so many ideas and learning to champion them that, even if many don’t work out or don’t get accepted – some will.  He explains how a dandelion releases hundreds of seeds, knowing that many will dry out, get eaten or fall on fallow ground – but that doesn’t matter because the point of the hundreds of seeds is that, even at the loss of many, every spring there are new dandelions in every crack in the sidewalk.

Seth’s books and style, especially his reading of these books in his audio formats, is inspirational. If you’re looking for a boast of encouragement and inspiration, go and read this or ANY of his other books!

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