The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)
, by Seth Godin, Portfolio, 92 pages, $12.95 Hardcover, May 2007, ISBN 9781591841661
I have been reviewing Seth Godin books since Purple Cow came out in 2003. What I respect most about Seth is his ability to practice what he preaches. He has published and marketed his books in ways that represent his philosophy of success. The Dip
, his fifth book in four years, again provides the one thing they all have in common--a great insight, concisely wrought. Seth always finds a way to capture a set of ideas and deliver them in one simple, eye-catching package. The Dip is no different.
This new insight goes something like this:
A. Your goal should be to be the best in the world.
B. Being the best makes you a scarce resource. That means more attention, more fans, and more money.
C. There is a steep curve to getting to be the best.
D. Decide what you are going to quit doing.
"The dip" is the flat spot of the effort curve after the initial excitement wears off and when you see the steep upward incline. It is why most give up on snowboarding after the first day. It is why getting your product into Wal-Mart trumps selling on the web. It is why most small businesses are limited by the control the founder keeps.
Seth examines "the dip" from many anecdotal angles--something you'll recognize from his other books. The Space Shuttle, bodybuilders, and ultra-marathoners all typify "the dip" and their stories help the reader internalize the challenges of being the best.
At 92 pages, The Dip is an airplane or afternoon read. Some are going to say it is light and just Godin's attempt at self-help. But isn't that the power of an insight? It is compact...and designed to impact your perspective on the world.