Everything Is Too Expensive Until It Isn’t


It’s a common complaint. “We can’t do that, it’s too expensive.” The problem is that most people define “expensive” too narrowly. In most cases, people look at an amount of money and determine if it is cheap or expensive. There is more to the calcualation.

What makes something expensive is a lack of Return On Investment (ROI). That ROI is not necessarily financial. It depends on what your goals are. If the investment will put you far ahead of your competition it is probably not as expensive as you think. Your short-term ROI may be small but what will beating your competition do to long-term ROI.

Another thing to look at is the long-term cost. Solar panels have been called too expensive. Of course the more a technology progresses the cheaper it becomes. How does progressing a technology and switching to renewable energy fit into your organizations goals? If they are important, they have to be factored into the equation.

What about desalination plants and recycling plastic bags? Both of these have been said to be too expensive. The same thing was said of solar panels, oil drilling, and microprocessors. Why are these things no longer expensive? Enough people factored the long-term effects into their figures to make a difference in lowering the cost.

The other mistake that people make is equating expensive with affordability. Just because something is expensive doesn’t mean you can’t afford it and just because you can afford something doesn’t mean it isn’t expensive. Before deciding if something is expensive, take all the factors into consideration.

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