[thelist] development time cost on new functionality

Bob Meetin bobm at dottedi.biz
Fri Jul 15 07:51:36 CDT 2011

> Why?
> Does Ford sell the second car it produces at slightly less? Does
> Pfizer sell the second bottle of pills at slightly less?
> This is a common mistake for services guys who aren't used to fixed
> costs. When you sell the second time, that isn't a service. It's a
> product (or "solution", if you prefer). You are not selling your time.
> You are selling something that solves their problem and your cost to
> implement that solution provides only a floor to your price range.
> Now you absolutely do not want to bid the second project on an hourly
> basis. That will either leave a ton of money on the table, or leave
> you in ethical soup. Fixed price. And say it as if you're doing them a
> favor in structuring it that way to give them some budgetary
> certainty.
I think the balance is somewhere in between. When Ford manufactures that first car there is some gamble involved, development, engineering, marketing costs. If they charged the first, then successive buyers, for that overhead, then Ford would have vanished years ago.

Yesterday I spent much of the day building bridge between a Joomla gallery component, Phoca Gallery and the jquery-lighbox application that was recommended for other reasons last week. Nothing like it that I know of existed. It greatly facilitates administration.  I can see how reusable it will be, but in working with my regular small clients few if any would be willing to pay/license if at full price.  For the next customer it's all but ready to use. Should they reap the benefits and get it for 30 minutes installation time, I don't think so, but no way will they pay full price. This doesn't go over well with many/most of my small business owner clients. In a corporate environment I can envision a little more wiggle room. Does the average corporate employee apply as much as 50% work time at work?

The answer, I feel, is situationally dependent. Some of this may depend on how deeply you can dig in your heels, take a stand.

Bob Meetin
dotted i - http://www.dottedi.biz
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/bobmeetin
303-926-0167 (home/business)

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