Thursday, June 23, 2011

Book Review: Linchpin

I've reviewed a bunch of Seth Godin books here, and while I'm a great admirer of his, my reviews have varied; with some medium-to-highly rated (Meatball Sundae, Poke the Box, Small is the New Big), and some less so (The Dip).

Linchpin is flawed, but valuable. I give it a recommendation, but only for those that understand that there'll be some repetitiveness, and some random jumping from topic to topic. Nevertheless, there are some good points made.

At a high level, it's Seth's take on what it takes to be essential - a linchpin - in your organization, network or community. His high level assertion is that the Internet, the attention economy, and other factors have fundamentally changed the nature of work. Being a quiet cog in a machine is a decreasingly viable path, and so people need to think about what factors make certain people indispensable.

By way of flaws, the book flits from topic to topic and back without a lot of structure. It's divided into sections, but then bounces between some of the same issues covered in other sections. Many of the anecdotes are detail and context free enough that they added little value or color.

The book is still valuable though. There are many points in the book that provide good food for thought, and several more structured entries that provide the kind of well articulated analysis that Godin is capable of and that I wish we'd see more in his recent books. At least one of these sections was valuable enough, and resonated with me enough, that I'm doing a separate post on it alone.

No comments: