There’s been a lot written lately about Seth’s new book, The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick).  Haven’t seen it yet…but it’s an important idea.

Tripped across a great post today over on Businesspundit about how Sun Microsystems walked away from a huge investment in order to take advantage of a better idea…a better chance of winning, of succeeding in their business.  You probably already see where I’m going.

Think about how many of us are seemingly trapped in doing things a certain way because we’ve already committed to that certain way.  Financially.  Volunteer involvement.  Tradition.

Can you imagine walking away?  Just leaving on the table all of the previous commitments to the old way of operating.  Wow!

The whole story of Sun Microsystem’s walk away decision is in June’s Fast Company.  I love this paragraph:

"For a month, I took a lot of drugs to sleep," says Greg Papadopoulos.
Sun’s chief technology officer is recalling the days after he convinced
his colleagues to scrap a half-billion-dollar investment Sun had made
on a new silicon chip. At a 2002 strategy meeting in McNealy’s office,
as obits were being written for the dotcom era and the company’s stock
price continued to tumble, Papadopoulos argued that the hundreds of
millions of dollars spent developing the chip should be chalked up as
yesterday’s mistake and instead Sun should pony up new money for a
radical new chip design. It was a gamble. "But you can’t find out if you’re right
until you take the risk," Papadopoulos says. He got the green light
(and the sleepless nights), and over the next three years, Sun invested
millions in his bold idea."

Can you imagine?  What is keeping you tied to yesterday’s mistakes?  Even to yesterday’s solutions?  This is where what Peter Drucker called the practice of systematic abandonment comes in.  Want more on the idea?  Check out Abandon Yesterday to Create Tomorrow.

The Right Time To Walk Away