• Title: Purple Cow
  • Subtitle: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable
  • Author: Seth Godin
  • Publication Date: 27.01.2005
  • My Rating: ★★★☆☆


The era of mass marketing is over and traditional marketing methods no longer work. People have everything they need or want and are therefore no longer open for advertising of any kind. Marketing is not something that happens after a product or service is created, but the product design must be the marketing itself. The iPhone e.g. became a huge success without traditional advertising. Only remarkable products will stand out of the crowd and survive. Such «purple cows», however, are difficult to predict and normally have a short half life time. We should design products only for early adopters (the author calls them sneezers) who then spread the word. Designing a product for the masses will never be remarkable.


No one would disagree with the author that remarkable products are much better than average me-too products. This is not really a new discovery and doesn’t justify a whole book around this notion.


I expected some kind of framework or guidelines how to design noteworthy products. This could include typical areas to focus on or questions to ask myself when searching for a differentiation.


The book is a good reminder that competition only gets fiercer and we all compete for the already short attention span of customers. In order to acquire loyal customers and design viral products or services, we really need to work hard on the question, how we can differentiate ourselves from other providers.


As consumers, we’re too busy to pay attention to advertising, but we’re desperate to find good stuff that solves our problems.

You must design a product that is remarkable enough to attract the early adopters – but is flexible enough and attractive enough that those adopters will have an easy time spreading the idea.

If a product’s future is unlikely to be remarkable – if you can’t imagine a future in which people are once again fascinated by your product – it’s time to realize that the game has changed. Instead of investing in a dying product, take profits and reinvest them in building something new.

Being safe is risky.