Escalation of commitment

Published on 2022-10-03 by John Collins.

"Escalation of commitment"1 is an interesting phenomenon, when people double-down on a bad idea in spite of growing opposing evidence. People sometimes attach too much pride and ego to their ideas, and defend them to an irrational extent.

It's a form of sunk-cost fallacy, when one feels compelled to keep on investing time and resources into an endeavour, in spite of it failing. It is driven by the belief that "our luck might change", or an inability to admit being wrong.

What is the solution?

Commit or cancel.

Commit to strategies that are working well, based upon real evidence driven by data. Cancel everything else, and be absolutely brutal in doing so, especially when resources are constrained.