Seth Godin has a concept he calls “the drip.” It’s an easy way to refer to the amazing power of repeated effort. The idea that if you do something every single day, parcel out the work and slowly introduce people to concepts, it’s not long before you’ve built something huge. Sometimes things change in micro, like making a difference in one person’s life. Other times, they have enormous implications for the world.
I spent a lot of time consistently providing content for a pug.
In the mid-1990s, we got a pug named Roscoe. He was a great dog. Internet famous during the early 2000s, he even made it on the cover the of the Seattle Times. OK, I helped a little bit, but he was pretty charismatic.
One of our favorite memories, my wife and I, is picking him up from the horrible farm where he was born and bringing his tiny body home and picking all the fleas off with tweezers. He doubled in size the day after the fleas were removed.
For about five years in the 2000s, if you typed “pug” into Google Roscoe would be at least 8 of the first ten results. I did a photo series called “Disinterested Pug with Found Objects” and took a picture of him in headphones in front a podcasting microphone that got used about a thousand times.
He died in 2009, and we still miss him.
When we were trying to come up with mask ideas at Archie McPhee in 2012, a pug mask was a pretty obvious choice. While the mask is not entirely based on Roscoe, it’s actually three pugs merged together for different traits, he’s in there. The mask has his ears and bit of his forehead, but that’s not his tongue.
When we made an action figure of someone, me actually, wearing the mask, we named it Roscoe.
Of course, because our mask was successful, it got knocked off. Which means, there are black market versions of my dog Roscoe all over the place. A pale imitation of his original cuteness, but still, the line is straight from one thing to another.
This year, one of the teams in the Super Bowl has declared itself the “underdog” team which means their fans are wearing dog masks. One of the players did a news conference in a knockoff mask, so the fans are buying them to wear during the game.
Today I can turn on the TV and I see the weird results of my efforts. The narrative thread from my wife and I getting that tiny puppy and people wearing a bizarre version of his face on the biggest sports event of the year is pretty direct. And, since I know nothing about sports, the whole event just seems like some kind of ritual in his honor.
For me, instead of a sports event, it’s the world recognizing what a good dog he was.
So, I guess what I’m saying is that with a little consistent effort your dog could be on the Super Bowl in 20 years. Never forget the power of consistent effort to change the world. Even if all you’re doing is making it a little weirder than it was before.