Failures and the dip

Jorge wrote in to ask about the contradiction (it seems) between Poke the Box, which argues that you must consistently ship innovations to the market (and frequently fail), and The Dip, which argues that quitting a project in the middle is dumb, that the real success comes after the quitters have left the building.

I don't see a conflict.

The failures I'm talking about in Poke the Box are initial interactions with the market, about the ability and willingness to appear stupid in front of others.

In the Dip, I'm arguing that big successes happen when people with good taste see the failures, evolve and keep pushing anyway. The good taste comes when you know the difference between failures that are better off forgotten and failures that are merely successes that haven't grow up yet.

A single blog post is an example of poking the box.

Sticking with a blog for seven years is pushing through the Dip.

[Related: a reader asks if "Go, make something happen," is sufficient. After all, there's a lot of junk in the world, a lot of misguided, wasteful, mediocre junk. My argument is that the hard part is deciding to do something, anything. Once you've decided to move, at least you're going. Might as well make it worth the trip. People who care (and who are wiling to fail) will likely turn that effort into something worthwhile.]