The business book you need to read this month: Purple Cow

With a focus on 'transforming your business by being remarkable', entrepreneur Daniel Keighron-Foster advocates Seth Godin's seminal book

Name of entrepreneur: Daniel Keighron-Foster
Company name: Steamhaus

What is Purple Cow about?

‘Transform your business by being remarkable’:That’s the tagline to Purple Cow, a book that encourages businesses to think differently and to avoid following the status quo. I first read Seth Godin’s book almost 10 year ago and it’s as relevant now as it was then.

It made a massive impression on me, providing a new perspective on marketing and how every aspect of your business’ operations links back to it.

I think this is a concept that start-ups generally ‘get’ because their whole essence is to try to solve a problem in people’s lives that isn’t currently being serviced. However, as Godin points out, it’s important to remember that the whole essence of your business should be thought about from your customer’s perspective as you look to delight them at every possible opportunity.

Target audience?

Anyone from ‘back bedroom’ start-ups to more seasoned entrepreneurs.

What’s the best bit of Purple Cow?

There isn’t one specific ‘best bit’; it’s all hugely relevant for anyone running a business and is great for dipping in and out of. That’s one of the reasons it’s such a great read, there isn’t any waffling or filler that wastes your time.

Godin’s discussion of ‘otaku’ and encouraging business owners to find their own ‘otaku’ is particularly interesting though. Otaku describes something that’s more than a hobby but a little less than an obsession:

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“Otaku is the overwhelming desire that gets someone to drive across town to try a new ramen-noodle shop that got a great review. Otaku is the desire to find out everything about Lionel’s new digital locomotive—and to tell your fellow hobbyists about it.”

Why should business owners read Purple Cow?

Whether you’ve read it before or are picking it up for the first time, Purple Cow is the perfect book to return to if you want to be inspired, to reboot your business model and get ahead.

Essentially Godin looks at why the traditional ‘five Ps’ of marketing are no longer enough and that start-ups need to acknowledge that there is now a new ‘P’ – ‘Purple Cow’. Godin’s theory being that “cows after you’ve seen them for a while are boring. […] A Purple Cow, though. Now that would be interesting. (For a while). The essence of the Purple Cow is that it must be remarkable.”

Three top takeaway points for start-ups:

1) Being ‘very good’ isn’t good enough – to be remarkable, you have to do something different
2) Let people take risks and make mistakes, because that’s how you end up creating amazing things
3) When the going gets tough, find your ‘otaku’ – referring to that sense of hunger and impulse that drives people to go out there and discover, just because.

Excerpt business owners can learn from?

Book name: Purple Cow
Author: Seth Godin
Date published: January 2005
RRP:  £9.98 (paperback)
Synopsis: A seminal read for any start-up looking for marketing advice, influential business blogger Seth Godin explains why and how business owners can put a ‘Purple Cow’ into everything they build and do. Referencing successful innovative brands such as Apple and Dyson, Godin’s book is essentially a manifesto on how to effectively market a product or service when the old, tried and tested marketing methods no longer work.


(will not be published)

Showing 1 comment

  1. This is all ok but why is there no link to see further details of the book? e.g. to Amazon? If people are interested they might want to buy it, no?