Maintenance is boring
The other day, I told my preschool-age daughter to go pick up her toys and clean her room. She looks at me that way that kids do now, and says, “But Daddy, cleaning my room is boring.”
I didn’t have a really good answer to this.
But that got me to thinking, we never really outgrow that mindset. That’s why we continually postpone costs of maintaining and upgrading infrastructure, whether we’re talking about roads and bridges or keeping up on IT infrastructure. It’s not exciting and new. I mean, it’s much easier to get money for (say) a new Calatrava bridge in Dallas than it is to get money to fix the existing, crumbling ones. Who gets inspired by regular replacement of rivets and trusses?
That doesn’t mean it’s actually not important, as the collapse of the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge last year demonstrated quite visibly and tragically. Sure, not all infrastructure is so critical, but that mindset is what affects so many things. How many companies allocate less than 100 megabytes per user per email, when storage prices are plummeting to the point that we can buy consumer-level terabyte drives for under $200?