Quiz: How much more expensive can a do-it-yourself solution be compared to a ready-to-use solution?

A Picture Quiz comparing computer mouse wiring and sensors wiring



The Answer:

In this context, the answer is C) 4 X more expensive.


Calculating the real cost of a solution, over and above the purchase price of the hardware, is more difficult than it may seem. Especially when it comes to putting a price tag on the time you and your team invest. But sometimes, doing things ourselves simply because we can, makes us forget the real value of our time.

In this article, we break down the costs involved in assembling and operating a do-it-yourself solution. It turns out that when we consider the costs associated with assembly, programming, integration and maintenance time, this solution becomes (see Scenario #2 in the article) 4 X more expensive (4,070 USD/year) than the ready-to-use solution from Dracal Technologies (1,014 USD/year), one of the comparables we can use in this case.

You think this assessment won't apply to you? Maybe not. But before you embark on your "do-it-yourself" project, take a few minutes to revisit this article from IEEE Spectrum magazine, which illustrates how an a priori simple project can quickly become much more time-consuming than expected.