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The Poochie Principle Featured

Over the years, I have developed what I call the Poochie Principle. Basically, its another way to portray the escalation of commitment. It comes from an episode of the Simpsons in which Homer gets a job voicing a new cartoon character named Pooch. The response to this character is terrible, with the Comic Book Guy declaring it "the worst episode ever." The TV execs are planning their next move (which ends up being the death of Poochie) and Homer approach them with his solution: "One, Poochie needs to be louder, angrier, and have access to a time machine. Two, whenever Poochie's not onscreen, all the other characters should be asking 'Where's Poochie?' Three..." he gets cut off after that.

The Pooch Principle is that an individual, business or government will often respond to failure with "What we need is more of X." A recent example comes from a failing commuter shuttle in The City In Which I Live. Over the course of 21 months, it has seen 6,300 riders at a cost of $23 per person. Our council's response? The shuttle needs more hours, longer routes and more promotion. The Mayor says, "I never really went into this looking at dollars and cents." OK. A councilman ssays, "I feel we've wasted effort if we back out." Exactly.

 

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Ted Craig

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