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Download The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?, by Seth Godin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (811 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Seth Godin Narrator: Seth Godin Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Nearly everybody has heard the story of Icarus: the man who flew too high. He and his father were trapped on an island with no hope of escape, until they fashioned wings for themselves and flew away. Before they took off, Icarus' father warned him that if he flew too high, the wax which held the wings together would melt and he would fall to his death. If he flew too low, the beasts of the sea would catch him and devour him. But Icarus didn't listen, and being fascinated by the Sun, he flew too close to it, falling out of the sky and dying among the remnants of his broken wings.

Today, the story of Icarus is often used as a cautionary tale in business: if you fly too high, you will eventually fall. If you play it safe, everything will be fine. What the people spreading this propaganda forget to mention is that Icarus was also warned not to fly too low, and that being 'under the radar' could be even worse than being in the stratosphere. This is what Seth Godin calls The Icarus Deception.

Unlike flying too high, Godin argues, flying too low feels safe, and that false sense of safety actually makes it more dangerous. He contends that the safety zone has moved, and that while it may not feel that way at first, it is actually better to do something bold and daring, risking flying too high, than to spend your life conforming to expectations, building up a false sense of security as you fly ever lower.

Seth Godin, former head of direct marketing for Yahoo!, is a world-renowned author, having penned fifteen international best-sellers such as Poke the Box and the revolutionary Purple Cow, which changed how the world thinks about marketing. His work has been translated into over 35 languages. In addition to writing books and changing the world, Godin is the founder of Squidoo, author of the most widely read marketing blog in the world, and a popular lecturer and guest speaker.

Everyone knows Icarus’ father made him wings and told him not to fly too close to the sun; he ignored the warning and plunged to his doom. The lesson: Play it safe. Listen to the experts. It was the perfect propaganda for the industrial economy. What boss wouldn’t want employees to believe that obedience and conformity are the keys to success.

But we tend to forget Icarus was also warned not to fly too low, because seawater would ruin the lift in his wings. Flying too low is even more dangerous than flying too high, because it feels deceptively safe.

The safety zone has moved. Conformity no longer leads to comfort. But the good news is that creativity is scarce and more valuable than ever. So is choosing to do something unpredictable and brave: Make art. Being an artist isn’t a genetic disposition or a specific talent. It’s an attitude we can all adopt. It’s a hunger to seize new ground, make connections, and work without a map. If you do those things you’re an artist, no matter what it says on your business card.

Godin shows us how it’s possible and convinces us why it’s essential.

Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Becky | 2/16/2014

    " This book is classic Seth, with a few twists. Icarus is a mythical figure who, when given wax wings, was cautioned not to fly too high or too low. He flew too high, his wings melted and he died. However, what this book focuses on is what happens if the caution not to fly too low is ignored. As a regular reader of his books and blog, I didn't find anything new and groundbreaking in this book. That said, it is inspirational, well written and well worth the read. The best part, for me was Appendix 1, where he highlights fourteen people who are living according to the principles that Seth believes in. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Troy Blackford | 2/16/2014

    " I can't recommend this book strongly enough. It will change the way you think, or at the very least strengthen your conviction to think in the unique way you already do. I wish I could have thrown this book in the face of all my middle school teachers when I was growing up. Please give it a chance, it's incredible. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Terry | 2/14/2014

    " Explains over and over again about the Industrial era creation of our current school system and I got the problem early. I think this book is at least twice as long as needed to do an excellent job on the subject, but I do enjoy Seth's way of explaining things anyway. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Brianna Elsass | 2/10/2014

    " Different and thought-provoking but a little redundant at times. If you are willing to look it makes you think about your definition of art and what you might be able to produce. I will admit to not being there yet, but may have pushed a thought or two. "

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