The Non-Obvious Insights Blog. Non-Obvious Insights
The Non-Obvious Insights Blog.

Dedicated To Helping Readers
Be More Interesting
Since 2004.

As Featured In:

How To Save San Francisco With Puppies

In entrepreneurship courses around the world one of the first things that they teach you is to find a problem that your business can solve. We all have problems, so there should be plenty of inspiration. And no doubt, there are many successful businesses that start with this simple question in mind. But how often do they ask if the problems they are solving are big enough?

IMB_how-puppies-can-save-san-franciscoThis weekend I read an article about a fascinating experiment in San Francisco to get panhandlers off the street.  The city is offering a stipend to panhandlers in exchange for them adopting puppies/dogs and providing a home for them. Not only do the dogs get homes and get off the streets (and avoiding the kennel or worse fates) … but it also offers a unique chance for someone who is begging for money on the streets to reform their lives.

In the article, they feature a man who was formerly homeless and even after getting a home – was still struggling with isolation and depression. After getting a dog, he shared "I never go to bed by myself, and I never wake up by myself, it makes me walk with my head a little higher." He is a success story of the program.

Reading this, what problem do you think the program is solving? It's not panhandling. It's not homeless dogs in the city either. Instead, I think it is one of the world's most inventive ideas to reduce loneliness.

Some people end up living a certain way because they have lost hope in their lives. Their bigger problem is not financial, it is emotional.  They are lonely. Having a dog for companionship can help those people. Giving them $75 can help provide the incentive to make that happen. I don't know if giving dogs to panhandlers will ultimately get them off the street. And I know it is an easy idea to dismiss. But it is also a reminder: don't underestimate the unexpected things you can think of when you try to find a bigger problem to solve.

3 thoughts on “How To Save San Francisco With Puppies”

  1. Wow……..Great offering them $75 can help provide the extra to arrive at that objective. I don’t know if providing animals to panhandlers will gradually get them off the street..I am happy to read it. Thanks


Leave a Comment

The Non-Obvious Insights Newsletter. Non-Obvious Insights
Layer 97
The Non-Obvious Insights Newsletter
Layer 118

Skip the obvious and anticipate the future with our weekly newsletter. Join over 25,000 subscribers and start receiving the stories (and insights) you’ve been missing.

All Books

#1 WSJ & USAToday Bestselling Author

Rohit is the author of 8 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.

Vector Smart Object


Have a Question or Inquiry?

Just fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours!

About You

What Are You Contacting Us About*:

Your Message