June 11, 2009

Performance: At What Price?

"You get what you don't pay for."

Bill Matthies

"Penny wise and pound foolish" comes to mind as well.

During austere times such as now, it is essential that we measure each and every dollar we spend. There simply is no room for waste.

But "waste" can be many things, many of which have little or nothing to do with how much they cost.

Are shoes that cost $100 a waste while those costing $10 are not? What if the $100 shoes fit perfectly enabling the wearer to do what they cannot with the ill fitting $10 pair?

How are you deciding what is and is not "wasteful" in your business?


  1. yes, but you cannot (or should not) spend $100 if you don't have it.

  2. That much is a given but let's look at the inverse as well.

    Are you getting 10% of the utility of $100 shoes when you buy the $10 pair? If you are, is 10% sufficient given your needs? In many cases how much you spend and what you get in return is not at all linear.

    Sometimes it is better to spend nothing rather than too little.

  3. First question: What do I need to do?

    Second question: What will do what I need to do?

    Third question: How much will those things that will do what I need to do, cost?

    Fourth question: Which of the things that will do what I need to do, can I afford?

  4. Of course it's all a matter of opinion (one person's waste is another's essential) but I never ceased to be amazed when I see management freely spending in one area while spending little or nothing in another.