合理处理沉没成本

最近看了一个企业成功创业的专访,中间提到了沉没成本的问题,于是有些想法拿来和大家分享。

我们经常会遇到这样的事情,你花了10元钱买了一张今晚的电影票,准备晚上去电影院看电影,不想临出门时天空突然下起了大雨。这时你应该怎么办?如果你执意要去看这场电影,你不仅要来回打车,增加额外的支出,而且还可能面临着被大雨淋透,发烧感冒的风险,这样还要发生吃药打针的成本费用。在这时,也许你的明智选择是不再去看这场电影。或者你花了50元买了电影票,但是也同样担心电影是否会好看,结果在看电影看了半个小时后印证了你的猜测,这个时候你会考虑是否继续看下去,是因为已经花了50元不看完可惜而留下,还是立即放弃看下去而离开呢?明智的选择应该是立即离开,因为这个时候看不看下去的问题关键已经和当初花没有花50元买票没有关系了。

这些类似的情况很多人都会遇到过,这就是我们在经济学中常说的沉没成本,沉没成本的概念对企业管理和理财投资非常有用,对我们生活、工作、学习也非常有益。

从MBA或者经济学的书里面能看到沉没成本的定义。
沉没成本是指业已发生或承诺、无法回收的成本支出,如因失误造成的不可收回的投资。沉没成本是一种历史成本,对现有决策而言是不可控成本,不会影响当前行为或未来决策。从这个意义上说,在决策时应排除沉没成本的干扰。 从成本的可追溯性来说,沉没成本可以是直接成本,也可能是间接成本。从成本的形态看,沉没成本可以是固定成本,也可能是变动成本。从数量角度看,沉没成本可以是整体成本,也可以是部分成本。例如中途弃用的机器设备,如果能变卖出售获得部分价值,那么其账面价值不会全部沉没,只有变现价值低于账面价值的部分才是沉没成本。一般说来,资产的流动性、通用性、兼容性越强,其沉没的部分就越少。“现金为王”的观念也可以从这个角度去理解。固定资产、研究开发、专用性资产等都是容易沉没的,分工和专业化也往往与一定的沉没成本相对应。此外,资产的沉没性也具有时间性,会随着时间的推移而不断转化。以具有一定通用性的固定资产为例,在尚未使用或折旧期限之后弃用,可能只有很少一部分会成为沉没成本,而中途弃用沉没的程度则会较高。

有了上面的例子和专业解释,我们能够对沉没成本有了感性和理性的认识,在具体的生活和工作以及企业管理中,合理处理沉没成本非常重要。

我们常说“姜还是老的辣”,就是只年纪大的人总是能比年轻人更有经验,就是因为他在人生阅历中积累了很多沉没成本,有了这些沉没成本能够让他在进行新的决策时考虑更全面更成熟。对一个行业或产业来说,其沉没成本的状况往往构成了进出壁垒的关键,并最终决定市场结构。有过调查公司的结论,若一个产业的固定成本或沉没成本很高,就会形成进入门槛。 那些具有明显规模经济和庞大硬件投入的资本密集型产业,如能源、通讯、交通、房地产、集成电路、医药等产业,其超额回报可谓诱人,但其惊人的初始投入和高退出成本则往往使许多市场“准进入者”却步,因为这首先是一场“谁输得起”的比拼。 由于这些高沉没成本的产业往往同时具备低边际成本的特性,“输得起”的一方最终会成为市场的赢家。许多资本实力雄厚的企业正是利用沉没成本来建立自己的竞争优势。小企业通常只能选择沉没成本较低的竞争性行业求得发展。目前我们所处的互联网行业中某些领域其实正是这样的情况,“剩者为王”就是最好的写照。

有人可能认为其实沉没成本就是所谓的“拿钱买教训”或者“就当交学费”、“破财免灾”,虽然这也有一些道理,但是正确的面对沉没成本的方法是有正面看待也要反面看待问题。

正确认识面对已经发生的成没成本,像前面提到的电影票的事情一样,明智的选择能避免沉没成本发生时出现更大的损失。因为此时计较已经付出的沉没成本只能带来更大的投入和损失,这个时候,大家前面提到的观点就是正确的。
同时,有些沉没成本是可以继续再利用的,曾经看到过一个花220元买鞋不合适后来加20元换了新鞋的故事,这就是对成没成本的合理再利用,结果可以理解为花了20元买了双新鞋。
另外,我们需要尽可能在决策前对沉没成本进行预测,在决策时尽可能减少决策性失误导致的沉没成本,因为决策失误导致的成本往往是无法再利用的,这也可能会导致最终决策的失败,这将对决策的可行性评估起到很大的作用,因为如前面说到的,有些成没成本是必不可少的,这就会成为必要的投入和“壁垒”。

在我们一生中,时时刻刻都会面临如前面所说的各种沉没成本的情况,由于年龄,经历等原因,我们可能在自己年龄的时候做了一些无法挽回的错事,走了一些难以避免的弯路,经历了一些难以承受的挫折,如果利用沉没成本的概念来认识这些事,只要我们从这些错事,弯路和挫折打击中吸取经验教训,调整航向,面对新的开始,从而使自己的路越走越宽,我们可能会赢得一种新的、更为积极的人生!同时在很多人和我一样从事的互联网行业,我们在互联网创业的时候,必须时刻关注和正确处理所面临的沉没成本问题!

【部分内容引用了一些专业的资料】

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