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The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) Hardcover – May 10, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Yet another easily digestible social marketplace commentary from the blogger/author who penned Purple Cow and Small is the New Big, Godin prescribes a cleverly counter-intuitive way to approach one's potential for success. Smart, honest, and refreshingly free of self-help posturing, this primer on winning-through-quitting is at once motivational and comically indifferent, making the lofty goal of "becoming the best in the world" an achievable proposition-all you need is to "start doing some quitting." The secret to "strategic quitting" is seeking, understanding and embracing "the Dip," "the long slog between starting and mastery" in which those without the determination or will find themselves burning out. As such, Godin demonstrates how to identify and quit your "Cul-de-Sac" and "Cliff" situations, in which no amount of work will lead to success. Godin provides tips for finding your Dip, taking advantage of it and becoming one of the few (inevitably valuable) players to emerge on the other side; he also provides guidelines for quitting with confidence. Quick, hilarious and happily irreverent, Godin's truth-that "we fail when we get distracted by tasks we don't have the guts to quit"-makes excellent sense of an often-difficult career move.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Seth Godin is an entrepreneur, a sought-after lecturer, a monthly columnist for Fast Company, and an all-around business gadfly. He’s the bestselling author of Permission Marketing, Unleashing the Ideavirus, The Big Red Fez, Survival Is Not Enough, and Purple Cow.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; 1St Edition edition (May 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591841666
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591841661
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (422 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Seth Godin is the author of eighteen international bestsellers that have been translated into over 35 languages, and have changed the way people think about marketing and work. For a long time, Unleashing the Ideavirus was the most popular ebook ever published, and Purple Cow is the bestselling marketing book of the decade.

His book, Tribes, was a nationwide bestseller, appearing on the Amazon, New York Times, BusinessWeek and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. It's about the most powerful form of marketing--leadership--and how anyone can now become a leader, creating movements that matter.

His book Linchpin came out in 2008 and was the fastest selling book of his career. Linchpin challenges you to stand up, do work that matters and race to the top instead of the bottom. More than that, though, the book outlines a massive change in our economy, a fundamental shift in what it means to have a job.

Since Linchpin, Godin has published two more books, Poke the Box and We Are All Weird, through his Domino Project. He followed these with The Icarus Deception via Kickstarter, which reached its goal in less than three hours. Joined by Watcha Gonna Do With That Duck and V is for Vulnerable, those books are now widely available. In late 2014, he announced his latest, What To Do When It's Your Turn, sold directly from his website.

In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth was founder and CEO of,. His blog (find it by typing "seth" into Google) is the most popular marketing blog in the world. Before his work as a writer and blogger, Godin was Vice President of Direct Marketing at Yahoo!, a job he got after selling them his pioneering 1990s online startup, Yoyodyne.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

579 of 631 people found the following review helpful By R S Cobblestone VINE VOICE on May 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Dip, by Seth Godin, is a very small book (80 pages) that says, in short:

- Winners quit (regroup. cut their losses, switch gears) whenever necessary on the path to winning.

- Be the best, and the world comes knocking at your door.

- Work through the pain, because the reward is waiting for you further down the road.

If any of these comments/suggestions seem unclear, take at look at The Dip.

If you understand already, you've just saved $12.95.

This is not a "how-to" book. It is meant to be a motivational piece of writing. Work hard... the financial rewards are greatest for the hardest worker. Work through "the dip," or that period where the gains don't seem to be coming as quickly as you'd like. Don't stop running the marathon at mile 25.

Look, the very successful don't read these books. The barely successful can't read these books. So it is written for the somewhat successful, or the person who is looking for "something" else. Here's the shortened version: "Work and study hard. Don't give up. Persevere. However, consider alternatives. Share this book with others."

Don't get me wrong... this is not, in any sense, a bad book, or a book giving bad advice. To me, the advice seems pretty obvious.

Work hard, play hard, and be well.
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123 of 131 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Much of Godin's advice makes sense, although it's not especially original. Know when you're going to quit and have an exit strategy. Don't get stuck in a cul-de-sac: a dead end.

Those who focus on a market or skill do reap greater rewards than those who generalize. Among scholars, picking a tiny slice and expanding will reap big rewards. Remove distractions from your life.

Godin's power curves are very convincing. There is a huge difference between Number 1 and Number 2 when you look at ice cream flavors and box office sales. But sometimes a decision to rank lower can be strategic. Some gurus advise against aiming to be Number 1 or 2 on a search engine, because you'll get more tire-kicking clicks.

Much of Godin's advice makes sense for individual as well as corporate career planning. Most careers have dips. Many people find themselves in cul de sacs. What he calls "the cliff" resembles a comfort zone: "The longer you do it, the harder to quit." As a career consultant, I think the cliff is far more common than Godin suggests.

Two problems with this book:
(1) In real life, it's often hard to distinguish between a cul de sac and a dip and careers often morph from one to the other without warning.

In fact, the book's examples inadvertently demonstrate this ambiguity. On page 38, Godin suggests that the helpful mailroom clerk might rise to CEO. On page 62, Doug gets branded because he's been with the company too long: everyone remembers when he started.

We should note that Jeffrey Pfeffer's book, What Were They Thinking, actually contradicts Godin's tips on pages 38-39: Pfeffer suggests that CEO wannabes *not* suck it up but instead stand out.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By B. Steinberg on November 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I read the entire book, and feel it could have been a great book if it deliver on the promise of the title of knowing when to quit and knowing when to stick with something. It does not. The Dip is about the place between the exciting new start of something, and the slump before mastery, or what Godin says "Being the best in the world."

This book in my opinion is in the dip. It had a good start, but is far, far from being the best in the world on this important life changing subject. What the book needed badly is tools for evaluating when you should quit and when you should stick it out. This book felt like more of a rant then a serious study from an expert on the subject who has real life experience or who has worked through the process with a good number of people and learned effective tools to share with others.

It seem like Godin quit while still in the dip with writing this book. Maybe he should have followed his own advise and stuck it out and created something great, or quit before he published this book.
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197 of 232 people found the following review helpful By M. Shuff on May 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OK, I keep buying Godin's books expecting more. But, all I get is content that seems like a well constructed blog posting. Seth is a very good writer and communicator, but this book added zero to my life. It is a very short book about quitting stuff you're not good at and sticking with (or starting) things you're not good at. Life is short. The longer you dwell in mediocrity, the longer it will take you to become exceptional. Contrary to the book's claim, it doesn't really teach you WHEN to quit or when to stick...other than when the goal is worthwhile. Such an examination takes more than just reading some words. There is very little thought-provoking content here. It seems like a summarized rip-off of Marcus Buckhingham and the "strengths" books...which are excellent and unlike this book...may change your life. Godin is well respected in marketing, but how many more collections of blogs (small is the new big), other people's works (purple cow), and short discourses about the obvious can he keep putting out? It's like people who compile ezines.
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