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Guest Thinkers

Are the best innovators quitters?

Marketing guru Seth Godin has launched a new site, The Dip, to promote his new book by the same name. Earlier in the week, Seth profiled a number of “quitters” who eventually went on to launch some of the most innovative businesses in the world – like Bill Gates, Ray Kroc, Howard Stern, Jeff Bezos, and Michael Bloomberg. The premise behind Godin’s book, of course, is that sometimes you just need to “quit” in order to get to the next stage in your life:

“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 if you keep pushing. But

maybe it’s really a Cul-de-Sac, which will never get better, no matter

how hard you try.

What really sets superstars apart from

everyone else is the ability to escape dead ends quickly, while staying

focused and motivated when it really counts.

Winners quit

fast, quit often, and quit without guilt – until they commit to beating

the right Dip for the right reasons. In fact, winners seek out the Dip.

They realize that the bigger the barrier, the bigger the reward for

getting past it. If you can become number one in your niche, you’ll get

more than your fair share of profits, glory, and long-term security.

Losers, on the other hand, fall into two basic traps. Either they fail

to stick out the Dip-they get to the moment of truth and then give

up-or they never even find the right Dip to conquer.”

Anyway, particularly astute students of evolutionary biology will recognize Godin’s core premise as a simplification of the fitness landscape argument.

[image: The Dip]


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