The Spartans, The Immortals and Resource Alocation
The spartans built the legendary 300. 300 super solders trained to work in unison. In infancy, if a baby appeared small, weak or malformed they threw it over a cliff in an attempt at eugenics. Their troops behind the top 300 received inferior training, nutrition, and lifestyle.
The immortals took their top 10,000 men and gave them elite training. They also gave the men behind them the same training. When one “immortal” died, the next best living “immortal” replaced him.
The spartans 300 were sent to hold a narrow passageway against the immortals and other armies. And they did so successfully. However, there was a path above them. And they did not have a large enough force to hold both territories.
Had they given the second strongest 300 the same training as the first 300, they may well have been able to hold both passes. And had they allocated the skills of those babies they threw over the cliff into the most useful trades possible, they may have had more resources to build a second group of 300 or the brain power to know the importance of it.
Therefore, it was waste and the desire to build and elite few rather than maximize all that ultimately destroyed the spartans. For if they built a large enough force to hold both passageways, they may have survived and repelled the onslaught.
The cost of their waste was great. Pop your cost by allocating that which you consider wasting.