Seth Godin is a clever guy. And smart. Those of us who write books could only hope to promote them as well as he does his. But then, he is, after all, a marketing guru. A quick thinker, perhaps.
Not necessarily a deep thinker.
In this book, for example, he offers advice about when to quit and when to press forward tenaciously. Fair enough. Some of us have been there, if by "the dip" you understand the difficult process of attainment. Most people quit before they begin if it strikes them in advance as being too difficult. That book might be entitled "Avoiding the Dip."
It seems his point is that some people grit their teeth and press on no matter what's on the other side just because they are built that way. And this, he says, is poor judgment. You need to know what the struggle will gain you. Well, he doesn't know, the struggler doesn't know, nor does anyone else know. The person changes if she quits. And she changes if she perseveres.
Those decisions thus have sustantive consequences apart from the immediate goal. If you peservere, you learn how to persevere. If you quit, you learn how to quit. How does Seth know beforehand who is going to benefit by struggling through the dip? Prophet motive?
Life is full of "dips." If there is a formula for deciding beforehand which ones to struggle through, and which ones offer nothing but the effort, would it be that easy? Edison would have been amazed at this facile advice. But we know the outcomes turned out to be worth it for him and for us, don't we?
Did Edison know then what we know now? Does Godin know what we can't know? Under what circumstances would he quit? And how do we know he didn't?