The extraordinary benefits of knowing when to quit (and when to stick)
The dip is a book from Seth Godin about making decisions by using the architecture of quitting . Our dads always say: quitting is for losers. However quitting, when done strategically, is what gets you ahead of the game. Seth names a few situations which can be a cul-de-sac/dead-end such as: you called a prospect a dozen times or can’t get a product to catch on. These are activities where influence wasn’t enough; the dip is too steep. At this point most people are considering to quite.
Ask yourself one question when you’re making decisions:
Is it a dead-end or is it a dip which can be overcome?If it is a dead-end – stop immediately or even before your start. If it is a dip – plan in steps how you can get though it.
I very much enjoyed this small book. One simple idea which is so obvious, but reading it is refreshing. It is the 80/20 principle: stop wasting time in activities which are not going anywhere and refocus your time and efforts on activities that show progress. ‘The dip’ is experienced in a lot of processes such as creative sessions. In a creative session the dip is the point where you can’t come up with any more obvious answers and you just start to say ‘random’ stuff. It is after this random stuff you start to think of new possibilities to solve a problem.
Another example is Uber. A company which is disruptive and gets a lot of resistance from the taxi industry, because anyone with a car can participate causing lower rates. In Europe this service is forbidden to protect the taxi drivers and customers. Uber is expanding their horizon with delivery services such as Christmas trees and kittens. They are forced to quite one path and decided to expand. A good decision, also looking at Google’s interest in robots and cars which can drive themselves to a destination. The long term value of Uber isn’t their service it is their database of people who want stuff now and are willing to pay for it.