Poke the Box Book Summary - Poke the Box Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Poke the Box summary

When Was the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time?

4.3 (78 ratings)
13 mins

Brief summary

Poke the Box by Seth Godin is a motivational book that urges readers to take action and start something new. It encourages experimentation, risk-taking, and embracing failure as essential components of progress and success.

Table of Contents

    Poke the Box
    Summary of 5 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 5

    In today’s ever-shifting economy, the ability to adapt and change is essential for success.

    What would you do if there were no obstacles in your way? Is there a dream project you’d pursue if you had all the resources and the cooperation from others you needed?

    These days, instead of money, contacts and powerful organizations, the most important success factor for businesses is instigation capital: the desire and entrepreneurial spirit required to take the initiative and turn your dreams into a reality.

    In the past few years, money has become less important for business success. In 2012, 67 internet start-ups were funded in San Francisco and New York. But traditionally, the amount of money needed for this would have only covered around 20 companies in Silicon Valley. This illustrates how much cheaper it is to operate a successful business these days.

    This means that money and networks are no longer the most crucial factors for launching a successful venture. What you really need is the drive to pursue your goals. What you need is instigation capital.

    Anyone can take a business class and learn about marketing, distribution and all the other elements of business. What’s not taught in class is instigation. Yet, if there’s no one around to inspire and push an idea forward, there is no business – and certainly no product to market and distribute.

    Without initiative, all anyone can do is sit back and watch the changes that other players are instigating.

    Take Wikipedia, for example. It was started in 2001 by regular people who were inspired to build an online encyclopedia that was open to contributions from anyone.

    Though the idea wasn’t to overtake the dominant player at the time, Encyclopaedia Britannica, that’s exactly what happened. And the reason was that Encyclopaedia Britannica lacked the initiative to take advantage of the internet.

    With countless investors ready to fund the next great idea, there’s just one thing separating the next Wikipedia from the next Encyclopaedia Britannica: the initiative to bring that idea to life.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Poke the Box?

    Key ideas in Poke the Box

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Poke the Box about?

    Poke the Box (2015) dives deep into today’s connected economy, where initiative and innovation are more important than financial capital or prestige. If you want to embrace innovation and be the first to stick your neck out with a new idea, you must overcome your fear of failure and keep bouncing back when you get knocked down. This is a handbook for those who need a push to take their ideas off the drawing board and into the real world.

    Poke the Box Review

    Poke the Box (2011) by Seth Godin is a thought-provoking book that encourages readers to take action and embrace their entrepreneurial spirit. Here's why we think it's a worthwhile read:

    • Emphasizes the importance of taking risks and embracing failure as a stepping stone towards success, empowering readers to overcome their fears and start creating.
    • Offers practical strategies and tips for fostering creativity, innovation, and initiative, providing readers with actionable tools to make a real impact in their personal and professional lives.
    • With its engaging anecdotes, examples, and case studies, the book keeps readers captivated and inspired, ensuring that the subject matter remains intriguing and far from dull.

    Best quote from Poke the Box

    The job isnt to catch up to the status quo; the job is to invent the status quo.

    —Seth Godin
    example alt text

    Who should read Poke the Box?

    • Creative types and marketing executives
    • Entrepreneurs and advertisers
    • Anyone with a great idea or dream project that they wish to pursue

    About the Author

    Seth Godin is the former vice president of direct marketing at Yahoo! and the current CEO and founder of Squidoo.com. He is also the author of the world’s most popular marketing blog, as well as over a dozen internationally bestselling books, many of which have shifted the way people think about marketing. These books include Unleashing the Ideavirus, Tribes and Linchpin.

    Categories with Poke the Box

    Book summaries like Poke the Box

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    32 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Poke the Box FAQs 

    What is the main message of Poke the Box?

    The main message of Poke the Box is to take action and embrace uncertainty to achieve success.

    How long does it take to read Poke the Box?

    The reading time for Poke the Box varies, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Poke the Box a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Poke the Box is worth reading as it encourages action and inspires you to step out of your comfort zone.

    Who is the author of Poke the Box?

    The author of Poke the Box is Seth Godin.

    What to read after Poke the Box?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Poke the Box, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Power of Starting Something Stupid by Richie Norton
    • The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin
    • Grit to Great by Linda Kaplan Thaler & Robin Koval
    • The Messy Middle by Scott Belsky
    • We Are All Weird by Seth Godin
    • The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg
    • The Mentally Strong Leader by Scott Mautz
    • Fail Fast, Fail Often by Ryan Babineaux and John Krumboltz
    • Tribes by Seth Godin
    • Purple Cow by Seth Godin