The Dip

The Dip is Seth Godin’s little 80-page book that teaches you that winners quit all the time.

Everything you start–from hobbies to relationships to jobs–has a dip. The dip is the lull following the honeymoon period when everything is new and exciting. Every journey has a dip.

On the other side of the dip lie the rewards and the perks associated with being the elite. This is home of the market leaders, the top professionals, the masters. And one of the luxuries of being on the other side of the dip is the opportunity to make the dip an even larger, deeper and more brutal chasm to cross. Lawyers do this by making the Bar exam more difficult each year. Microsoft did this with Word. Zappos is doing this today with online shoe stores.

But which dips do you push through? Which ones do you abandon?

Seth lays this out pretty straightforward. When you know you want to be the best in the world at something, those are the dips to push through–to lean into.

All other dips should be abandoned right now. They’re robbing you from resources of the dip that matters.

“Best in the world” is a big phrase, but Seth teaches us that “best” is best for us, right now, based on what we believe or know. “The world” is relative, as in, our world and what we have access to.

So you could operate the best Vietnamese restaurant in Boise. That’s a world. In fact, with the Internet and the long tail, there are more worlds than ever before.

And here’s the money quote, bolded on the last few pages of the book. When you find your dip, know this:

It’s almost impossible to overinvest in becoming the market leader.

Of course the key is picking the right world and the right dip to dominate. It’s not easy, and that answer is not likely to be found in a book.


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