Oct 142011




The Dip is an easily digestible self-help book comprised of 80 pages in short form with a simple message. Godin implores the reader to quit when appropriate, brave it when the circumstance demands it and to recognize the dip, which is a trough or low-point that may or not be the catalyst for success.

According to Godin one can face three situations. These are characterized as curves and are:

-The Dip: the period or stretch between kicking off a job, a project or the work required between the beginning and fruition. The author advises one that quitting ahead of time – i.e. not starting – is necessary if one is not going to be the best at something. Godin, however, values the best greatly and emphasizes that the super stars are number one because they recognize the right potential and slog in-between. These types fight through and come out winners at the other end of the dip.

-The Cul-de-Sac (dead-end): is a job, process or plan that simply put is going nowhere. The author wants you to quit and to insist your friends quit too when in a cul-de-sac. Don’t wait, he insists, quit now and save your time and life.

-The Cliff: is the rarer case where there is a deep and dangerous plunge at its tail-end. Godin’s example is smoking and the consequent emphysema. There is a sharp drop at the end of The Cliff.

The Dip is slightly better than the average ‘advice’ or ‘help’ book. Compared to malicious stuff like QBQ that tells employees to become modern corporate serfs Godin does have a point. It encourages people to be realistic and quit when necessary with pride and courage or persist and work through given good potential. He does prescribe quitting ahead and not avoiding pain as well when the dip is not right.

Having said that, it is not quite clear how one would identify a dip versus a Cul-de-Sac. While he invites one to ask himself whether measurable progress is being made that in itself is hardly simple or self-explanatory. The metrics are missing of course. It is too bad, but at least the author does insist that suffering in silence or feeling like failures when quitting are not virtues. Coping is actually a culprit.

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