I was thinking about the cost of things the other day.  Just some food for thought here for all you to ponder.

Gillette Replaceable Razor Blades…..  They seem quite expensive.  A package of 4 for like $18 (or something like that).  That seems quite high to me.  However, when you take one out of the package, you pop the handle into the back of it and you hear that satisfying click.  But, take a closer look at the blade cartridge.  It is truly an amazing marvel of engineering excellence.  Starting at the sharp, extremely straight, thin stainless steel blades.  4 of them!  Then there are the extremely tightly toleranced plastic/rubber surround that is supposed to stretch your skin and push up your bristly facial hair.  There is the amazing wear strip up top which basically is a timer for the life of your blade.  How does this work?  And then, all of this is held together with a polymer chassis with an internal spring with the swivel head.   

Is it worth $4.xx for each blade cartridge?  Of course, this number is based on mass production.  If this was a one-off design, the value would be 1,000x that for sure.  Drafting and design time – 8 hour minimum @ $xx/hr + error and tolerance checking + 4 hours @ $yy / hr + material + dies + manufacturing + QC.  I have no idea what the exact time involved would be, but it would be at least a few days of solid work.  All in all, it is impressive, once you think about it.