A quote from Jurassic Park has stuck with me over the years (we won’t count how many): “[You] were so preoccupied with whether [you] could that [you] didn’t stop to think whether [you] should.” Oftentimes I associate it with potential avenues we could venture down in science, and I realized this can relate to companies as well.
The story of Mr. Nobel, the newspaperman, is probably a good depiction here. The story goes that Nobel wanted to increase his newspaper profits. He decided that he couldn’t raise the cost of his paper any more than it already was, or it wouldn’t be profitable. How else do you increase profits if you can’t raise price? Decrease cost. He did this by increasing the cost to the newsies (boys who stood on the street and sold the newspapers). I’m sure the scenario went something like this: “Mr. Nobel, sir, if you want to make more money, we could charge the newsies an extra 1/5 a cent per paper.” You could, but that doesn’t mean you should. The result? A non-union strike.