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Perennial Seller

The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts

By Ryan Holiday
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 9 key ideas
Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts by Ryan Holiday

Perennial Seller (2017) explains how to ensure that great creative work also succeeds in the market. These blinks not only demonstrate how to generate success for a particular project, but also how to secure continued long-term success for yourself as a creative individual.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

Perennial Seller gives essential advice on how to make your creative work succeed in the market. The fact that surprised me the most was that you need a healthy dose of humility to be an outstanding marketer.

– Robyn, Selection, Curation and Publishing Manager at Blinkist

Key idea 1 of 9

Creating a perennial seller requires hard graft, and great ideas alone will get you nowhere.

You know that old maxim about product success being 20 percent creativity, 80 percent marketing? Well, you can safely ignore it, because it’s pure bushwa.

If you want to develop a perennial seller – a product that always sells, year in and year out – you’re going to need to put a lot of work into the creative process. Marketing is not a magic wand. To be successful, your creation will have to be a world-beater from the get-go. And there’s no escaping the hard work that creation entails.

No company knows this better than Microsoft. It’s forced some real stinkers on the market, hoping that marketing would make up for product shortcomings. Just think of its failed MP3 player, Zune, or its dismal search engine, Bing.

In contrast, Microsoft Office has only gotten better over the years, and is now a classic 25-year perennial seller, thanks to its sound software design.

But, of course, if you're going to market a product you'll need to develop one in the first place. Just having lightbulb moments will get you nowhere.

To drive this point home, consider how many aspiring writers you’ve met who haven’t actually published a thing. You know the type; he talked your ear off at this or that party, claiming he would soon produce a masterpiece, though he hadn’t written anything yet. It’s one thing to have an idea for a film’s plot, or a concept for a start-up, but it's quite another to actually get going.

Ideas alone are worth nothing. Take the writer and comedian Sarah Silverman’s advice. You needn’t wait for someone’s approval to get going: just write!

So exactly how do you turn an idea into something real? Just what kind of hard work is needed? Let’s turn to that now.

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