On a roll with the Seth Godin books, as well as the Neil Gaiman ones, so I picked up The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) from the local library. Of course my first surprise was that it is only about eighty pages long – eighty small pages many of which have large pictures on them and lots of white space.
Basically the book is a discourse on the fact that there are great rewards for being at the top of whatever field you are in, but before you get to the top and to the rewards you must make it through “the dip.” The dip is that chasm of effort that separates the amateurs from the pros, the lounge singers from the superstars. As a corollary to that, if you aren’t prepared to what it takes to get through the dip, you should quit early so that you can spend your efforts on what is important to you.
Seriously, that’s about it.
Now there are some really good points buried in the book. My favorite, which is much like “that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, is a brief section about how you should thank your difficult customers and praise your hard problems because they are helping you differentiate between yourself and others. They are keeping the less qualified from coming up to your level. That is a valuable lesson to learn, and one to be reminded of everyday.
I guess what I am saying is this – for a book, it is a little short on content. Specific tools to tell the difference between dips and cul-de-sacs would have been nice. Acute advice on how to manage through the dip would have been welcome. But overall, we get a high level lesson without the specifics.
Now I really hate saying all this because I like Seth Godin, and I like his book. So, by all means read The Dip. You will definitely gain some insights. But, my advice is to either pick it up at the local library, or just sit down with it for a while at the bookstore. I simply can’t recommend spending the money.