• MarkBuildsIt

Design Changes and Sunk Costs

Sometimes a design just doesn't work out. Or maybe it's a little too complicated to build and, therefore, too expensive for the client. That was the case for the first version of the Student's Desk.


This design isn't dead, but It's definitely on hold.

I like the design. But, once I cut some templates and sample parts, I realized that it was going to cost me too much, in time, to build. I may still do something with it, but it won't be any time soon.


So why am I holding on to the parts? I don't have room to store them. The templates are just scrap plywood that were cut on a CNC. It would be no trouble to cut them again. They have become a sunk cost.


The revised, staked version of the Student's Desk is nearly complete, yet these test parts and templates from the first design are still hanging around my shop.

The hardest part about sunk costs is learning to ignore them. This is not one of my strongest skills. I have a shelf that runs the length of my shop. It is filled with expensive parts for furniture pieces I will never make again. They're parts no one else really wants.


But they are stored in an out of the way place and these new parts are on a cart in the middle of the shop. So I'll keep ignoring the old parts on the shelf. And I'll burn the new ones for heat. Maybe one day I'll get up the nerve to do the same with all my other sunk costs.

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