Monetizing Innovation

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Versioning is a pricing strategy for information products where you create different versions of the product for different users. The version the users pick reveals the value they place on the information and what they are willing to pay for it—without alienating users by charging different prices. This is especially important for digital information products that can drive prices and margins down due to competition.

A MaxDiff comparison helps reveal the ranking of pairs of features without directly asking users to stack rank them. People have an easier time saying the best or worst item in a set than to rank them so this technique is a way of getting a more accurate idea of the relative priority of a feature.

The core thesis of Monetizing Innovation is that product failure is rooted in the failure to put the customer’s willingness to pay at the core of product design. Designing around the price—which measures value and priority—helps guide product design based on the customer. Companies often build the product and then do marketing and pricing, but that amounts to a leap of faith at best and a painful disconnect that leads to failure at worst.