The Dip

30th March 2009

Recently I read "the Dip", by Seth Godin. As with all of Seth's books, it is well written and very thought-provoking.

Its premise is: Achieving something worthwhile is difficult. The difficulty of the achievement makes most people drop out. This means that the people who push through the hard part and achieve their goal are in a minority.

Strangely since reading the book I have recognised "the dip" in a number of situations, not only in my own life, but in the lives of people around me.

My brother is a keen cyclist. He is currently mulling over training to become a professional. He stated that to become a professional cyclist he would need to be doing 10-20 hours cycling a week even through Winter and he was not sure whether that would take the fun out of the sport for him. He is fully aware of the dip he faces and is now making an informed choice about whether he wants to pursue the sport more seriously.

A close friend of mine plays the drums. He and his friend were in a four-piece band, but felt the dip that the group faced was too deep. They left to form a new group with more motivated band members. To my friend, the new band seems to have a shallower dip, and therefore may be easier to overcome. They quit one dip to take on another but increased their chances of success in the process.

Last weekend, when playing cards, I found I could relate the dip to Poker hands too. When playing poker, you need to quit (fold) poor hands as early as possible, but find the good hands and stick with them through the dip. Pursuing unlikely achievements i.e. holding on to bad hands for too long, is a quick way to run out of chips. I think that winning a game of poker is more about quitting the bad hands than backing the good ones.

Finally, my own dip is currently in blogging. Seth Godin references blogging dips in the book and as LogicFlip is just starting out, we are in a dip too. It seems like everyone has a dip to overcome at the moment.