There are two widely opposed (and often misunderstood) positions on how expensive it can be to change or fix software once it has been designed, coded, tested and implemented. One holds that it is extremely expensive to leave changes until late, that the cost of change rises exponentially. The other position is that changes should be left as late as possible, because the cost of changing software is – or at least can be – essentially flat (that’s why we call it “soft”ware). Which position is right? Why should we care? And what can we do about it?