It is easier to start something than to maintain, or continue, that something.
There are obvious exceptions apply for addiction, intentional stopping, etc. Note that the statement is not that starting is easy, only that it is easier than continuing.
Seth Godin blogs every day about a variety of topics. Definitely worth wandering around his site.
The particular post I link to above talks about a topic close to my heart. Unfortunately, the topic doesn’t really have a good name. Or rather, it goes by many names. The title of this post. The title of Seth’s post.
To repeat: It is easier to start something that to maintain, or continue, that something.
If you work in the private or public sector, you see programs, plans, processes, awards, etc. that were started and then abandoned days, months, or years later. The skeletons hang around, cluttering up our jobs, our walls, our minds.
Maintenance costs for physical things (bridges, roads, buildings, roofs, machinery) are frequently kicked down the road. Oh, we can live another year without maintaining it. Until the bridge collapses or the machinery breaks down, preventing you from making product. Anytime we put something new in place, we KNOW there will be maintenance costs and an organization that doesn’t acknowledge that is not thinking long term.
Corporate improvement and recognition programs are other excellent examples. There are a lot of great ideas that are started but are dependant on one person, and when that person leaves, the program fades away awkwardly.
Software maintenance and cloud services are examples from the IT world. Software has a shelf life. If you have software, buy the maintenance updates or have a plan in place to eliminate the software. If you subscribe to a service, has everyone bought into the permanent budget hit?
The long-term costs of something new need to be considered before starting. It shouldn’t keep you from starting, but it will improve the ability to continue.