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6 Questions on Seth Godin and
“The Moderation Glitch”

6 Questions on Seth Godin and “The Moderation Glitch”
By Mike Brown

Seth Godin wrote a post last week that seemed to be the inverse of his book, The Dip.

While The Dip was about the deep trough that can take place right before things take off (or don’t), this new blog post called “The Moderation Glitch” was about “The Peak.”

This Seth Godin post discussed the challenge of knowing when the marginal benefits from your strategy peak and additional incremental efforts will yield negative rates of incremental benefit.


As is frequently the case, the blog post was more about pointing out a problem than how to do something about it. In fact, Seth Godin offered little in the way of even knowing when you hit the peak.That’s where this piece comes in:

While we don’t have the answer to when the peak happens for your brand, his article got me thinking about questions you should be asking to better understand your peak as early as possible so you can take appropriate strategic action.

6 Strategic Thinking Questions for “The Moderation Glitch”

So from the Brainzooming strategic thinking R&D Lab, here are six strategic thinking questions to aid in estimating the potential timing of the peak Seth Godin identifies and who might help anticipate its arrival.

Gauging the Peak’s Timing

  • -How long do customers in your market typically stick with something before moving to the next new thing? Cut that number by 1/3 or by 1/2, maybe even 3/4, to get a sense of when you should start looking for the peak.
  • -How long do you need your current strategic direction to work before you’d be okay with it falling apart on you since you’ll be doing something better already?
Use the answers to these two strategic thinking questions to estimate the initial timing expectations for when the peak may appear.

Identifying Your Strategic Guides

  • -Whose sense of fatigue with this strategy will be the best indicator that it’s “enough”, whether it’s enough in the opinion of your customers, your organization, or someone else?
  • -Will your salespeople or finance people first know that things aren’t as good as they have been, or will it be your market research people or someone else?
  • -Who understands the leading indicators in your business?
  • -Who in your organization isn’t so enamored with the current strategic direction that they are willing to step away from it before everyone else in order to start thinking about the next strategic direction?
Based on answers to these strategic thinking questions, you can identify the canaries in your coal mine, those individuals who will sense a problem before anyone else does.

It’s impossible in one article to figure out your peak moment (or peak period). In just a few moments, however, you can document a better sense of your timing and the canaries who will signal it’s too late when it’s too late, as opposed to after it is too late.

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Mike Brown

Mike Brown is the founder of the Brainzooming Group. He has been at the forefront of leading Fortune 500 culture change, contributing new approaches in research, developing simplified tools for innovation, strategy planning, and aligning sales, marketing, and communications strategies for maximum business results. Additionally, he’s won multiple awards for his strategic brand-building approach to customer experiences in NASCAR and conference event marketing efforts.
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