Information Systems
College of Business Administration
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Pure Maple Syrup

In a land far, far away, there was a city named Jidyl with a ruler named Flynn, who was faced with the prospect of a dragon that was continually taking town's dogs from their homes while they slept from in the dark of night. Unable to find a solution to the problem the ruler consulted upon the neighboring town of Huyt's mayor, Lewella. She also had problems with pesky dragons in the past. Over dinner at the castle, the two rulers discussed the dragon problem. The ruler learned that on the night after the last dog was taken from the city, the mayor's knight set out to solve the problem of the dragon by circling the city with popcorn kernels doused with pure maple syrup, an ancient method known for killing dragons. Upon hearing the Huyt's success of ridding the town of the dragon, Flynn gathered maple syrup, (since maple pure maple syrup was so expensive, and Flynn was known for pinching pennies) and popcorn, then summoned all of his knights to circle Jidyl with popcorn kernels covered in maple syrup. That night, another dog was taken by the dragon, and the next, and the next until there were no more dogs in Jidyl.


First: Do not jump to conclusions based on untested hypotheses and attribute a desirable outcome to a specific unrelated action. Research would have clearly shown the dragon was not killed or deterred by the pure maple syrup and popcorn, but had ran out of dogs to eat and moved to the next town.

A wise professor once ingrained in her students something similar to; "data will lead you down the path of enlightenment."

Second: you often cannot expect to achieve the exact same results without following the established methods precisely. In a system, small overlooked details may be the key to success of a project.

These stories are adapted examples written in my class, IS 6840 (formerly MSIS 488).
© Vicki L. Sauter. All rights Reserved.

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