Thoughts on Seth Godin’s “The Dip”

08Mar09

Did you know WordPress doesn’t let you put italics in the titles of blog posts?  Now it looks like I don’t know what kind of punctuation to use on a book title…THANKS, WP.

I went to Barnes & Noble today and revamped my reading collection for our trip to Phoenix in 11 days (likely the longest days of my short life).

Let me tell you: buying interesting books right before 11 days of presentations, tests, and general impending doom ranks right up there with buttering toast with your favorite hamster.  Not the greatest idea.

Makes me want to dance...not sure why.

Makes me want to dance...not sure why.

I’ve been attacking The Dip (See?  I graduated from middle school Language Arts…) with a particular zeal tonight, and I’ve found these two nuggets to be especially chewy:

In a free market economy, we reward the exceptional.

The dip creates scarcity.  Scarcity creates value.

NOTE: “The dip” (yes, this time it’s a quote from the book itself) refers to a difficult or trying period when your average Joe or Jane quits a task, but the ones who push through it will see their labors rewarded in the long term.

Get it?

Get it?

The CEO of Electronic Arts (EA) said in a recent press release that “The recession is a blessing in disguise.”  He was referring to the nature of such an economic tightening to push the loser games out of EA ever-shrinking lineup of profitable games.  In good times, the mediocre games survive, but in a recession, only the top profiteering ones prevail.

Winner.

Winner.

Loser.

Loser.

Why should the job market be any different?  I’ve seen it happen plenty of times: friends, family, even significant others who’ve fallen through the cracks of the system, seemingly fit for duty and ready to work but without a chance to prove their worth.  The human condition dictates that in times of uncertainty, we retract and centralize in an attempt to reorganize our forces.

But I love Godin’s view on this – it’s refreshingly technical and frighteningly valid.  If we give in to the very natural desire to contract our offense and build up a defense in times of turmoil, we’ll miss out on the opportunity to prove how badass we can be at overcoming the stuff no one else wants to.

This advice is so terribly applicable to Gen Y.  I’ve heard plenty a Gen Xer/Boomer bemoan the failings of Millenials manifesting as laziness and unwillingness to push through tedious work.  At my practice interview with a fantastic recruiter at VTM, Inc., she told me to emphasize my experience in assistant and administrative positions.

Everything my parents, advisors, professors, and career guides screamed “No!  What are you doing?  You’re a LEADER!  Tell them about your LEADERSHIP experience!”

But the fact is, I’m looking for an entry level position.  That doesn’t mean I won’t have a lot to offer over an applicant with a minor in pot smoking – however, we need to show that we can recognize the value of humility when it comes to putting in one’s dues.

And that concept is a whole ‘nother blog post…

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4 Responses to “Thoughts on Seth Godin’s “The Dip””

  1. I recently learned the hard way how important it may be to emphasize administrative skills. It never came up in the interview – my resume is light on the admin stuff in favor of more marketing-relevant and advanced work I’ve done, but I came in #2 behind someone who they said had more administrative experience, or at made a bigger deal of it I guess. I’ve done a ton of admin work as far back as in high school, but I guess I took it for granted that admin is something that you either can or can’t do – I’ve always thought experience isn’t that much of a factor when doing entry level admin work. I guess I know better now.

  2. Hmm, there was a lot of guessing involved in that last comment I guess.

  3. FYI, I’m pretty sure that when you can’t italicize a title, you’re supposed to underline it.

  4. 4 KP

    Actually, Spore was a piece of digital garbage from a critical perspective (and I don’t think it did particularly well in sales either.) But then, publisher EA has earned a reputation among gaming nerds for forcing developers to sacrifice quality in favor of an earlier or seasonal release.

    Not that your example doesn’t make sense. The game was hyped for years and probably ended up more entertaining than Hatsworth McShittygame up there, but it just wasn’t that good.

    The point of all of this nerdrage is…um…something about the power of good marketing.


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