01 September 2014


  • Winners quit all the time, they just quit the right stuff at the right time.
  • Most people quit they just don’t quit successfully.
  • Quit the wrong stuff. Stick with the right stuff. Have the guts to do one or the other. Example of Hannah smith who focused on few things well so she can become the Supreme Court clerk.
  • Reason for some of this is winner take all philosophy. The long tail book by Chris Anderson
  • Time is limited so are resources. Scarcity makes being at the top worth something and scarcity comes from hurdles set up by markets and society.
  • Best is subjective and world is selfish.
  • Everything in life worth doing is controlled by the dip. There are 2 other curves as well.


The dip is the long slog between starting and mastery. It’s actually a shortcut. It’s a combination of bureaucracy and busy work u have to deal with in order to move up.bits the stretch between beginners luck and real accomplishment.

Successful people don’t just ride out the dip they lean into it. They push harder changing rules as they go. They don’t last long when u whittle at them.

Curve 2 - The cul de sac is the dead end. When u are in a cul de sac u quit it so u can focus ur resources on other things.

Curve 3 the cliff rare but scary.


  • Cigarette smoking has the cliff the longer u wait the longer it takes for u to quit.
  • It’s human nature to quit when it hurts but it’s the reflex that creates scarcity.
  • If the journey you started was worth doing then quitting when u hit the dip just wastes time u have already invested.
  • If u can’t make it thru the dip then don’t start!
  • Seven reasons you might fail to become the best-
    • No time,
    • no money,
    • scared,
    • not serious,
    • settle for mediocre,
    • focus on short term,
    • pick the wrong thing.
  • Quitting creates scarcity and scarcity creates value.
  • Have the guts to cancel the space shuttle.
  • The goal of any competitor is to create a dip so long and deep that nascent folks can’t catchup
  • The opposite of quitting is rededication. Dip is flexible and responds to effort we put in. Joe Biden s quitting of 1988 pres candidacy as example. No one quits the boston marathon at mile 25
  • Getting off a cul de sac is not moral failing but it’s just smart. Coping is a lousy alternative to quitting. Pride is the enemy of smart quitter.
  • Ignore sunk costs. Example of Michael Crichton quitting his doc to start over.

3 questions to ask before quitting-

  • Am I panicking,
  • who am I trying to influence,
  • what sort of measurable progress am I making