Sunk cost is a way to trap you as a customer.

It’s likely that if you charge a lot of money, and make things expensive to maintain, years later when a cheaper, more efficient alternative comes along as a competitor, your customer is so entrenched and has spent so much, they won’t be able to overcome the idea of the sunk cost they’ve put into your solution.

This is a way to trap a customer. While many companies do it, it doesn’t particularly move society forward. It’s a single-minded thought process, good for bottom lines, but not actually good for customers.

Another way to think is how to build something that doesn’t trap customers through the idea they have sunk too much cost in, but instead how to build something that they want to use because it is the best solution. How do you stay on top of the industry to make sure your solution is the solution of choice based on capabilities not sunk costs?

Not every company is out there seeking to trap people purposefully in this way, but sometimes this just occurs naturally. That’s okay, there isn’t much to do about it. What there is to be done is the work to make sure if they were making the decision today against your competitors they would still go with your offerings because they are the best choice.