The Three Curves

In the book, The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick), Seth Godin teaches us why we should always strive to be “the best in the world.” Here are my reflections on the topics discussed in the book.

Being number one in your field matters and has tremendous benefits.

Think of the short head vs. the long tail.

Being on the top means people seek you out by default. We rarely have the time or opportunity to experiment or to try things out.

Being on the top also means leveraging scarcity to your advantage. Market rewards scarcity if what you offer is valuable.

But to get to the top, it will require you to get through the Dip (curve #1). Almost everything in life worth doing has a dip.

The dip separates the “aspiring beginner” from the “committed expert.”

The Cul-de-Sac (curve #2) can look pretty in a real-estate advertisement, but it is still a dead-end.

When you are progressing on a curve of Cul-de-Sac, nothing gets better or worse. It remains a status quo.

Sometimes we may even confront a Cliff (curve #3). It signals a nasty drop-off at the end of the curve.

If you find yourself in a dip on your way to something much more enlightening, keep at it.

Think of the dip as the belly of “The Beast” or Resistance in Steven Pressfield’s book “Do the Work.”

If you find yourself in a Cul-de-Sac or, worth yet, a curve of Cliff, you must quit and quit right now.

Continuing the curves of Cul-de-Sac or Cliff are simply a waste of time and resources.

Recognizing the three curves and quit when you must.