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The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)
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The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  8,644 ratings  ·  669 reviews

The old saying is wrong—winners do quit, and quitters do win.

Every new project (or job, or hobby, or company) starts out exciting and fun. Then it gets harder and less fun, until it hits a low point—really hard, and not much fun at all.

And then you find yourself asking if the goal is even worth the hassle. Maybe you’re in a Dip—a temporary setback that will get better i...more
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published May 10th 2007 by Portfolio Hardcover (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

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It's all pretty obvious, but I saw a copy of this 80-page book lying around at work and figured that I could use something to read in the gym. The main point doesn't even need that much space to get across: persistence is overrated; if one doesn't expect long-term success in something (be it a career, relationship, or whatever), it's better to quit immediately than stick with it. The Dip is the hard slog between being barely competent at something ("beginner's luck" is the phrase Godin uses) and...more
This is a short book. Despite being short, it is very repetitive. It also advocates the philosophy that nothing is worth doing if you're not going to be #1, which is a philosophy I disagree with. However, I did find the basic concepts of this book to be interesting, even helpful. So, here's the nutshell of the book, in the book's own words. Now you don't have to read it. :-)

Excerpts from The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit by Seth Godin

Most of the time, we deal with the obstacle...more
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This book was a disappointing read with only two points - either stick with it if you think you'll be successful or quit and do something else that you will be successful at.
Gene Babon
I'm a fan of simple and this book is simple. The message is clear:

Being the Best in the World is Seriously Underrated

The Dip refers to "the long slog between starting and mastery." Extraordinary benefits accrue to the tiny minority who are able to get through The Dip by persisting longer than most.

To be the best at anything you have to quit. You have to quit the right stuff at the right time. Quit the Cul-de-Sacs of life -- those dead ends are aren't likely to take you anywhere. Once you quit Cu...more
May 11, 2010 Tricia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Michael Bath
Weirdly enough, this is the first Seth Godin book I've read although he's a marketing guru and I, well you know, work in marketing.

I put this succinct book on hold from the library because I thought the title and subtitle were provocative. Hmm, what could it mean? Obviously something I needed to find out.

And then when I was having one of those days at work, possibly one of the worst days I've had in the six months at my current position, it fortuitously became available for pick up. I mean, a bo...more
Chad Warner
Nov 18, 2012 Chad Warner rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: entrepreneurs
Recommended to Chad by: TechNibble
Godin gives motivational and practical advice about the benefits of strategic quitting. He says that “we fail when we get distracted by tasks we don’t have the guts to quit.” He tells how to choose the right tasks to begin, then how to push through obstacles (the Dip) to reach success. This was just the book for me since I’m about a month away from going full-time with my own web design business, OptimWise. The book is short and concise; you can read it in a day.

Godin summarizes the book succinc...more
Daniel Clausen
I found this book in the bookstore yesterday, and read the entire thing nearly in one sitting. For a long time before I read this book, I was a fan of Seth Godin's blog and his book Permission Marketing.

The basis of the book is that on the path to great success there will always be a "dip," a rough patch that seperates those who really want to accomplish greatness from those who do not. The key question you have to ask yourself is whether you are ready to be either number 1 or number 2 in your f...more
Michael Wilson
Seth Godin is a marketing demi-god. And he knows a thing or two about everything else as well. He is one of those rare individuals who deserves the title of visionary. His blog at is a must read if you are in the workplace as an owner, manager or cubicle grunt.

And he knows what’s best for this ADD brain of mine. Keep it short (a mere 96 small pages with big print) and keep it focused. The core idea the entire book centers around one dilemma that each of us has faced...more
Read the book in an hour while waiting out rush hour traffic at the bookstore. While it wasn't a complete waste of time for me (I actually needed to hear some of the things Godin says in the book), the book definitely repeats the same message over and over again, sometimes using the exact same words. There were a few points I thought worth noting, and I jotted them down on a small napkin. If you're interested in this book, I suggest you save your time and read my napkin instead :).
Beth M.
The quickest lil pamphlet ever.

Don't agree with the stark division between figurative winners and losers. Don't agree that going on a "quest" to be the best will always result in being the best (even if you follow all the rest of his advice). Don't agree with the fact that grit and trying hard will change everything (although he doesn't quite go that far... only implies it.) Certainly don't agree that there's only one way to see "the best." Don't agree that being the best means that you must be...more
Kathy Nealen
This book is very short. It promises to tell you when to quit and when to stick. It describes three scenarios: the cliff, the cul-de-sac and the dip. You should quit the cliff and the cul-de-sac; but, you should continue with the dip because eventually you get through the dip. The cliff is a promising rise with a disastrous drop-off. The cul-de-sac is long journey that ends in a dead end. So far, it all sounds like common sense. The problem is identifying exactly what scenario you are in. I coul...more
This book is short. Yet, it's full of questions and ideas that changes the way you think about quitting.

Whatever commitment you are in: job, relationship, business, or project, you need to read this book to know when to quit and when to stick.

Seth Godin writes with passion & concentration. He doesn't care if his book is short. Once he proved his detailed idea, he finished the book.

Thanks Seth for saving our time & for this thoughtful book.
Douglas Cootey
I wonder if this book would have made a better (and shorter) blog. I found its points repetitive, often vague, and stretched out. Godin was good at asking questions, but not as good at making his points clearly. The graphs were arbitrary since they were just based on his opinions. And the ending trailed off. So I wasn't impressed with the writing quality. This book suffered, unfortunately, from poor structure and the strength of his arguments suffered as a result.

I did, however, like the overal...more
Kater Cheek
I like Seth Godin very much and had high hopes for this book. I'd heard it was his best, and I've enjoyed some of his other books. I hoped that by reading it I'd learn when to quit and when to stick. There are situations in my life when I don't know which I should do, and I thought he might have some insight.

I don't think this book teaches you when to quit and when to stick. It talks about how quitting is important, and that you have to stick with things when they get tough or you'll never be th...more
My life is one big low point lately, so this book could have been a great collection of advice. Unfortunately there's only one useful sentence--"If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try"-- and people have been telling me that for almost a year now. My bad for not listening!

The rest of the book is one big mess. One of the main points seems to be, "Quit if you can't be the best," but another main point seems to be, "Quitting in The Dip is a mistake." Are these actually compatible? Godin t...more
I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Godin and was looking forward to reading this book. I found quickly, however, I fundamentally disagree with much of his reasoning. I think that knowing when to quit - and not to sink time and money into something that isn't profitable - is an important lesson, and I was hoping to learn his thoughts on how to identify the right time to quit. Instead, his advice is to quit if you don't think that you can be the very best - because anything less is not worthwh...more
I could be Seth Godin if I wanted to be. Check it out: "When you're sitting in a meeting, don't be a wallflower; be the wall paint." .. or let's see .. "Don't assume that you'll be excellent, be the assumption and excellence will find you." Here's another: "If all you strive for is greatness, then all you'll be great at is striving!"

There was a time when I liked this guy, but now I just think he's a shit-knuckle.
Dorai Thodla
It is one of the shortest books I read. One of those, that you can finish in a sitting. Certainly thought provoking.

Does not offer much in terms of going through the Dip but draws your attention to existence of dips everywhere.
Jan 05, 2014 Alicia added it
it's... not what i was expecting. i wanted something that talked more about the dip itself, but this book was more about... why the concept of the dip needs to exist. and quitting. in fact, this book probably should have been titled: Judicious Quitting, but that might have been too straightforward for Godin. Anyway, I agree with the idea of quitting. i'm a serial quitter. it disappoints everyone around me, it wastes money, and it's a time sink. say no to something, say yes to something else, yad...more
This book is designed for entrepreneurs, but can be helpful to anyone who has a hard time narrowing down, making decisions, or finishing projects.
It helps you decide what is important and what you should quit.

Reasons I loved it:
It's short.
It acknowledges all the stupid things that we do to hold ourselves back, but doesn't make you feel stupid for doing them.
It's written to be understood.
It taught me how to categorize the things I do and decide which ones are important.

Definition of "The Dip": "T...more
Jon Humphrey
This book gave me an insight that has served me well in my career. Seth talks about being the best in the world. When he says the world, he's not talking about the globe, he's referring to your sphere of influence. Being the best in the world doesn't mean that I have to stack up against international competition, I just need to be the person the people I work with turn to when they need my skills. That little insight fundamentally changed the way I approach my work. It focused my attention on im...more

The conventional advice on the subject of quitting usually goes something like this: Winners never quit.

In my world, this line of logic held up pretty well until I read Seth Godin's recent book: The Dip -- A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (And When to Stick).

Clocking in at a featherweight 76 pages (really, you can read this in just a day or two), Godin manages to shred the standard advice on quitting. As it turns out, there are a number of situations where quitting is the sma...more
Годин в своём репертуаре - оригинальничает :))) Если в темном месте меня прижать к теплой стенке и спросить: "О чём эта книга?", я отвечу: "А фиг его знает!" :))) Книга полна нелогичной и противоречивой информации...

Это, разумеется, шутка... Но в каждой шутке есть доля шутки. Годин (как обычно ;)) претендует на познание некоего "бизнес-дао", достаточно универсального и на уровне отдельного предпринимающего, и для отдельной компании, и для рынка в целом. Предполагается, что следование этому "дао"...more
Nathan Bland
First let me start by doing the opposite of many of the self professed speed readers. I'm not going to try and boast myself up of how worthy my time by proclaiming how it just so happened to take me an hour to read, or belittle the book by saying I skimmed through while walking out to the car- no that proves one thing from 'many' of the reviews I read. They did not actually read the book in order to grasp every thought and lesson it was teaching. I can tell by many of the reviews they had no ide...more
I read The Dip back-to-back with "The Writer's Manifesto." I have mixed feelings about The Dip that I didn't have with The Writer's Manifesto. Both are short works that challenge you to look at (creativity, marketing, jobs) in a different light.

But whereas The Writer's Manifesto is a clarion call to write for the sake of writing, that success will accrue to those who do the work and who, paradoxically, quit hounding after "success" and focus on their craft, The Dip is all about Being The Best. T...more
Jason Graves
I have never read anything by Seth Godin before and, after reading this, I may not read anything else by him. However, my friend assures me that this was the wrong one to start with and I'm hoping he is right. While I'll acknowledge a few nuggets of wisdom in the book, I think he overstates many of his major premises. I do think that he is aware of the overstatements and he does try, unsuccessfully, to nuance the ideas a little. However, I would expect such a popular and influential writer to be...more
Interesting read, giving perspective on the cultural mentality of quitters never prosper. The basic idea behind the book is that those who are prosperous actually do quit, and quit often. Not in the sense of quitting the long term goals, but rather, quitting dead ends that we sometimes get trapped in. Godin gives good examples of what to look for in the differences between a dip, and a Cul-de-Sac or cliff, and then what to do once you have identified what kind of path you are on. Godin also prov...more
Godin is known for pithy, thought-provoking "riffs" on the New World Economy. "The Dip" is another in that same vein.

In this slim volume, Godin takes on the issue of quitting -- how many companies quit the right things too quickly and stay with the wrong things too long. The way to superiority and best-in-market ruling is to power through what he calls "the dip -- " the long period of suffering and pain that comes before true success.

I think Godin has something with the concept of sticking with...more
Chris Kiess
This is - as many ratings of the work note - all pretty obvious. So on the plus side: It is a short book and fit for the subject matter. On the minus side: Even at under 100 pages, the point is a bit belabored. Moreover, I was a bit put off by the fact that there is little scientific backing of Godin's theory. In addition, there are a good number of examples that might fall outside the norm or be considered extreme examples to support the thesis of the work.

The idea that we should quit anything...more
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Seth Godin is a bestselling author, entrepreneur and agent of change.

Godin is author of ten books that have been bestsellers around the world, and he is also a renowned speaker. He was recently chosen as one of 21 Speakers for the Next Century by Successful Meetings and is consistently rated among the very best speakers by the audiences he addresses.

Seth was founder and CEO of Yoyodyne, the indust...more
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“The Cul-de-Sac ( French for "dead end" ) ... is a situation where you work and work and work and nothing much changes” 12 likes
“No one knows more about the way you think than you do.” 10 likes
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