The Canine Pyramid


So a computer guy is laid off from his computer job. He soon gets sick of sitting around at home and he decides he wants to go for a walk everyday. There are a lot of physical and psychological benefits to going for a walk every day. He notices people taking their dogs for a walk and realises that taking a dog for a walk is a great way to ensure you get regular exercise.

So he makes up a small flyer: dog-walking as a service. And he walks down to each of the houses in the street that has a dog and drops a copy in their letter box.

The next day on his walk he walks even further, covers the next three streets. If a house doesn't visibly have a dog, he walks past them. If they do have a dog he puts a flyer in their letter box.

The calls start coming in thick and fast. He is inundated with more dogs to walk than he can service himself. He institutes strict rules, for maximum quality. No more than two dogs on a walk. $30 a half hour or $50 for a full hour.

He formulates a new plan: he goes to each of the houses that don't have dogs, and puts different flyers in their letter boxes: Want regular exercise? Become a dog walker! Great pay, great lifestyle, it's the casual social exercise job you've been looking for. Why pay money to exercise when you can be paid instead!

He gets books out of the library: the dummies guide to dog walking. He learns first aid for pets. He gets hats printed with the Dogercise logo. He gets bright t-shirts printed up. People are volunteering to walk dogs before work and after work. The elderly are walking little dogs. Young women love to take guard dogs with them on their evening jog. He institutes a dog-matching algorithm that pairs each dog to just the right walker.

He builds a website for managing the booking of dog walks. He builds a smartphone app, customers use it to book their dog walks, to trade tips and to thank their walkers. There are social meets and barbeques.

He gets a map of the greater suburb and divides it into small areas that surround the area he already letter-dropped. He tells his most proficient dog-walkers that they can pick an area and letter drop it, manage those territory for themselves. They take a percent of the earnings from the walkers they manage. They organise social events, perform letter drops, sort out issues as they arise.

Now on the map he draws up new areas, just at the edge of the areas that are already being managed. The best walkers from the existing areas are allowed to nominate themselves for those areas.

In a very short time, the business has spread out, whoosh, and his dog-walking empire covers the entire globe. He stops for the first time and realizes: I'm actually more of a cat person.


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