In between a total loss and an endless expense

How much should you spend?

For just about everything, there’s level 1 (too cheap, total loss, all money and effort less than 1 is wasted) and there’s level 2 (spending ever more money to get not much more than investing at level 2 would have created.)

This rule applies to copyediting, to used cars, to the building of bridges and everything in between.

What’s the point of underspending on a software project? You merely end up with nothing but frustration.

And the gold-plated RFP that comes from deep within the bureaucracy is designed to avoid finger-pointing and blame, not to actually buy something that gets us a return–that might lead to even more waste.

Better to pay a little more than you should and get something you can use than pay too little and end up with nothing at all. Better as well to avoid paying a ridiculous amount for something that never satisfies–better to live without until you learn to see the curve.

Learning to see the curve–that’s the benefit of deliberate experience, well earned.