Jens Oliver Meiert

Cost of Solution vs. Cost of Problem

Post from September 20, 2007 (↻ November 6, 2021), filed under .

This and many other posts are also available as a pretty, well-behaved ebook: On Web Development.

Problems cost money, and problems require solutions that also cost money. This is known in all industries, but in many cases, there is focus on only one side: What does the solution of the problem cost? This ignores the other side, the cost of the problem.

Evaluating cost of solution is simple: You determine the time and money you need to develop and implement it. You’re looking at the resources needed. Cost of problem, however, equals the price of doing nothing. That is, for what I know, an important economic principle known from cost-benefit analyses.

I recently wrote more on the matter for Germany’s Dr. Web mag, with details and examples. As that has been an exclusive, it prevents me from providing more information in this place. The point is this: Always consider the cost of the problem in order to prioritize appropriately. Some changes are unnecessary and expensive, others are critical and must not be delayed.

If you can’t wait until I can share more: Jeff Thull goes as far as to consider this the “best-kept secret of the selling world.”

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About Me

Jens Oliver Meiert, on April 29, 2020.

I’m Jens Oliver Meiert, and I’m an engineering lead (currently manager for Developer Experience at LivePerson) and author. I’ve worked as a technical lead for Google, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly. I love trying things, sometimes including philosophy, art, and adventure. Here on I share some of my views and experiences.

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Perhaps my most comprehensive book: The Web Development Glossary (2020). With explanations and definitions for literally thousands of terms from Web Development and related fields, building on Wikipedia as well as the MDN Web Docs. Available at Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play Books, and Leanpub.

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Last update: November 6, 2021

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