The Value Scale == Time

When thinking about pricing for a product/service, I often start with what other things cost to determine the value offered per dollar.

In robots for example, you can get a basic sumo robot kit for about $100 or you can get a RoboNova for about $1000. The value spread on this is a little disproportionate to actual robot per dollar, but the RoboNova looks really really cool and has a bunch of features and is harder to reproduce.

In software for example, you can get some really useful software for free and you can even use most websites for free. But if you want proffesional design software like Photoshop CS3 it cost $650. What’s the value add for $650? People know it, ease of use, features are more usable? Same with Microsoft Office, even though most people can get by with Open Office, or Google docs.

In both of these cases it seems like value/cost equates to time. Value it seems equates to time to create/replicate or time saved, thought cycles saved. But it seems like the cost of things increase with their perception of the time saved vs real time saved which to me seems counter intuative to the 80-20 rule (Pareto’s Principle), but then again it’s perceived time saved.

So it’s my thought that there exist a value scale unique to each individual or business that equates dollars per hour to their time. Something that would save a week’s worth of time, would cost more than something that saves a days worth, and there are something that if they only save 5 minutes worth of time, might just be done vs. paid for. Thus people with less time spend more on time savers than those with more time.