2. Opportunity cost
Let's say you have a project, and it is expected to deliver a positive but unimpressive return on investment. Should you do it? Maybe not. The decision is not whether to do this project or do nothing -- it's whether to do this project or pursue another opportunity. The return of investment on your best alternative is your "opportunity cost." It is what you would be forgoing if you proceeded with the marginal project you had already started. You should always ask yourself, "Is this my best opportunity?"
Obviously, you shouldn't wait until near completion to make this decision. Early appraisal of the market opportunity is critical. If you find early on that the program just doesn't have the returns you thought, then it may well be better to cancel it and focus on a greater opportunity.
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