Cobra Effect -Mental Model 087

What Happened When The British Government Offered A Bounty For Every Dead Cobra?

When an attempted solution to a problem actually makes the problem worse.

 

Example: The term ‘Cobra Effect’ comes from the British rule of colonial India. There were a large number of venomous cobra snakes in Delhi. So the concerned British government offered a bounty for every dead cobra. Initially, the strategy succeeded.

 

However, enterprising individual’s began breeding cobras for income. When the government found about about the breeders, they scrapped the reward program. Since the breeders cobras were now worthless, they let them back into the wild, and as a result, the overall cobra population increased.

 

Wisdom: “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them” ― Albert Einstein

 

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