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The Dip

By: Andrew Goodman

OK, so I promised a riff on Seth Godin's new book, The Dip. Now that he's pointing to the The Dip blog, looks like a good time to say something.

But I probably shouldn't! I mean, the book isn't even out yet! This brings to mind the time I hadn't read Jurgen Habermas' A Theory of Communicative Action, Vol I, and I said to the professor: "but I *think* his main point in this chapter is probably...".... and the prof said "nope, not even close."

Anyhoo, based on the advance notice, The Dip appears to be about the dark period you go through when retrenching, rebuilding, rethinking, and reinvesting in something better. In the business world, it means your results will have to get worse before they get better. The alternative is a slide into mediocrity, something many folks are all too contented with - because they fear change, challenge, pain, and also excellence.

It's an old story, of course. Free traders sold us on the benefits of certain economic policies that led to rapid deindustrialization in some areas, before a rebound in productivity. They were right, sort of.

If you're going to motivate people to accept these Dips, you'd better have a helluva nice pot of gold, end of rainbow story.

So I got to thinking about many such Dip-like phenomena. And my mind wandered - of course! - to sports analogies.

It's common nowadays to hear about a top golfer like Tiger Woods "rebuilding his swing." Remember how Tiger both went in for knee surgery and rebuilt his swing, and his results went into a kind of trough (for him). And now, he's back better than ever? Meanwhile, there's Todd Hamilton still plugging away with no driving distance, no mental fortitude for Sunday, and a killer short game that won him the British open and sometimes lets him make a cut, hoping to get lucky one weekend... but in the meantime having trouble climbing out of 153rd on the money list.

Then again, maybe I should read the book first.


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About the Author:
Andrew Goodman is Principal of Page Zero Media, a marketing consultancy which focuses on maximizing clients' paid search marketing campaigns.

In 1999 Andrew co-founded, an acclaimed "guide to portals" which foresaw the rise of trends such as paid search and semantic analysis.

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