In an exchange that mirrors the blogosphere at large, Guy Kawasaki asks Seth Godin 10 questions, while we get to read along. I thought it would be fun to once again pretend that we’re all part of the blogosphere and give my own answers. Try this at home- it’s fun.
1) Other than hindsight, how does someone know when it’s time to quit?
When the fun you’re having or reasonably likely to soon have no longer outweighs the effort it takes to do what you thought was going to be fun from the start. Like golf. I played golf for years. I got better for a while, then stopped getting better, then started getting worse. Eventually, it dawned on me that golf was an elitist sport that was unfit for a deep thinker like me, so I took up drinking. It’s pretty much the same cycle, but the clubs are more fun. Later I gave up drinking and started blogging. There are clubs there too, but it takes more than a $5 cover to get in.
2) If I’m in the middle of a dip, how do I know if it’s worth gutting it out to get to the other side?
I generally try to avoid dips. It’s relatively easy to avoid the blatant dips. They generally move in slow packs and attack one at a time, like the bad guys in a movie. It’s harder to avoid the unknowing dip, who is a dip but hasn’t figured it out yet. Avoiding Starbucks is a good start.
3) Is there a place for the intrinsic value of learning a skill – for example, playing hockey or the violin – even though you know you won’t be the best in the world?
Absolutely not. There should only be one hockey player, one restaurant, and one blogger. We’re pretty close on the blogger part.
4) What if the market is not established so there’s no way to know if it even exists and if it’s worth dedicating/rededicating to?
This one is easy. Just put some ads up and give your company a goofy name that is vowel challenged. Next thing you know, Google will buy you for millions.
5) How can a company quit a product and not give the incorrect signal that it’s quitting the market?
See my answer to question 4. If you have ads, you don’t need a product. Products are so old school.
6) What’s more powerful: a short-term pain or long-term gain?
7) Do most companies quit too early or try too long?
8) Should Microsoft quit the MP3 player market?
9) Should Apple quit the personal computer market?
See my answer to question 8.
10) Should America quit the Iraq War?
Shouldn’t we quit the Korean War first? I don’t know if we should quit the Iraq war or not. But I know that you can’t dump a war like you do a girlfriend or boyfriend. The reject by neglect approach to breaking up with a war didn’t work in Vietnam, and I doubt it would work now. What we need is a decision maker.