Phil Dixon recently gave a great talk at Velocity 2009 talking about the cost of poor performance. Through a series of rigorous tests, measurements and reports, Shopzilla was able to quantify the cost of performance to the bottom line of the business. Performance monitoring is often thought of as insurance, you pay a small premium every month so that you are notified when the site down. But it is increasingly becoming much more than this. With the variety of tools and APIs available now on multiple platforms, it’s possible (though this does require a good amount of effort) to tie performance and profitability directly together. There was another talk at Velocity that discussed the future of performance monitoring is really about being able to translate the performance and scalability costs into the direct impact to the business. In this model, the idea is to create a curve that plots costs of scalability and performance (hardware, engineering, etc.) against the impact to the bottom line (revenue, direct sales, etc.). Allistar Croll and Sean Power’s book talks a lot more about these topics in depth.