The folly of thrift; well the official term is "The Paradox of thrift" and refers to the fact that saving because you have little money means that there is less money around and everyone has less money. I am thinking of false economies - buying a cheaper product which does not do the same and makes it harder to do what you wanted to do in the first place.

I was recently in a motorbike accident. I miss timed a corner and side swiped an oncoming car - resulting in damage to my right leg, arm and hand but only bruises and scrapes. The car could not open their drivers door and my bike drove itself into the hedge and stopped. I may never rideĀ a motorbike again. C'est la Vie.

I was very lucky, practice and training meant I was progressing at a slower speed than I could have been; but I also had all the right protective gear. I was wearing expensive, professional grade motorbike boots with a solid sole and armour built in; these probably saved my right ankle from being destroyed. I was wearing very expensive, Kevlar weave trousers which were fully armoured in the knee and hips; these probably mean I can walk normally in a few weeks and not have months of physio. I had a great helmet; so never lost consciousness. I had decent jacket and gloves; protecting my back, shoulder, elbow and hands from the abrasive effects of the tarmac as my body slid from 40 mph to standstill.

Without this equipment I would have been in a much worse way and it got me thinking about cost vs value. The protective gear I wore cost more than my bike, and the value it gave me when used counted more than money could ever repay.

I see the same with the IT equipment people try and use to get their business done. Customers don't have backups of data which it would be inconceivable to survive without, contact data for customers, invoices and paperwork for tax returns. I see customers who have "everything on eMail" which is hosted by a company which they have no contract with any more (btinternet have just culled a load of older customer data, ntlworld / Virgin Media have done the same). There are reliable, cheap and effective options to stop these problems if only people were aware of them and thought about the consequences. More expensive solutions sometimes deliver better value giving you features which become invaluable.

Buying a more expensive laptop with a better life that means you can work on the train home is better value than a cheaper alternative but is not there when you need it.

When deciding on a solution, look at more than just the bottom line, ROI, etc. Decide if it delivers a value to your business and understand that sometimes it costs more to get something of great value down the line.

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