The Idea Dude


Monday, November 10, 2008

When going cheap is more expensive

Some friends gave me a golf instruction DVD this year. Watching it showed me all the things I did wrong the last 10 years. While I did some right, I never did all the right things at the same time. As expected, the result was never great or consistent. So making naive adjustments meant magnifying bad habits and throwing away good ones.

Golf was never meant to be a serious hobby and as such the mindset was don't spend 100's of dollars on instruction when reading a book or two was so much cheaper. In retrospect, the hundreds of dollars I spent in the last 10 years was spent in vain resulting in frustration of not really knowing what I was doing and all the while being totally inconsistent. I wonder why I perservered the way I did.

In hindsight, a better solution was to spend the several dollars upfront for quality instruction which would have meant the last 10 years of golf would have been more an exercise in recreation instead of futility.

More perplexing is that I allowed myself to perpetuate this myth of I can teach myself even though I regard myself as reasonable intelligent and often too introspective about my own failures. I missed this most important lesson the last 10 years. I'm sure there are other things I should stop doing but the momentum and effort is far too much or too much of hassle for me to stop doing them. Isn't that the definition of bad habits?

The human brain is so smart in creating justifications of why we should not be doing some things even though they defy cold hard logic.

In many ways, software is done the same way. Often clients can't understand why something should take so long or be so expensive. You do get what you pay for and often going cheap to start means paying more for mistakes in the long run. Unfortunately, it is tough to educate a customer that only can judge you by what they see. i.e. 2 web pages could look the same but the first one is written quickly and badly with no room for growth meaning each change is essentially a rewrite. Whereas the second one written well, taking a bit longer would save you money in the long run.

This week I'm making a conscious effort to stop doing things that really make no sense but I've been too darn lazy to change.


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