Cost of Solution vs. Cost of Problem

Published on September 20, 2007 (↻ February 5, 2024), filed under (RSS feed for all categories).

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 September 30, 2021.

I’m Jens, and I’m an engineering lead and author. I’ve worked as a technical lead for companies like Google and as an engineering manager for companies like Miro, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly and Frontend Dogma.

With my current move to Spain, I’m open to a new remote frontend leadership position. Feel free to review and refer my CV or LinkedIn profile.

I love trying things, not only in web development, but also in other areas like philosophy. Here on I share some of my views and experiences.