Stupid Puma Syndrome at Work

As you know, puma is a member of wild cat family. It is a great predator that has super powerful muscles and fast running ability. Its joints and muscles work in a perfect harmony that is incredible to watch while catching up its hunt. This pursuit sometimes ends by death of victim, sometimes puma let the prey stay alive.

Why does a puma let the prey be alive? Here is the genius point! While death run, puma compares the amount of energy that is spent and the amount of potential energy that is obtained from prey. If the spent energy is more than the potential energy, puma stops running and lets the prey go. Thus, it runs more after the gazelle and much less than the rabbit. It is brilliant for an animal, isn’t it?

If puma continues to run after although there is a negative gain, it is called as Stupid Puma Syndrome.

People can be “stupid puma” in all parts of life. But now, I want to focus on the situations at work with a software developer perspective.

Time is the most important resource for us. I am sure that everyone have been in a long meeting than it deserves. There is a topic or a problem at the beginning of the meeting. People say their opinion but never meet in a common point and then topic changes, conversation goes on. Some people start to get bored and don’t listen anymore. Meeting goes on longer and longer. What happened there? Did you find the solution? No. How long time did you spend? Three hours. Oh my God. We were stupid pumas!!!

Brainstorming at the whiteboard

Another example about software development: architectural design choice. We decided to use the architecture that fits great to our new project and started coding. After a while, different problems showed off and this architecture is not feasible anymore. Will we continue the project with current choice and accept to spend extra resource? We should make a calculation. If we change the architecture design choice, will we spend less effort than current? If the answer is yes, we have to be brave to change our decision.

So ask yourself, are you in a stupid puma syndrome in some situations? Find them and kill the syndrome :)

Have a smart day… :)