Joel sat down behind his PC, waved his hands a little and low and behold, there it was: another essay. This time it’s on software pricing and confusingly enough entitled “Camels and Rubber Duckies”:http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/CamelsandRubberDuckies.html. Why that is becomes clear when you read it. And as always: you should.
I suspect Joel was having quite a good time while writing this piece as it’s more comedy than content. Nevertheless, the problem is clear: you finished your software product, now how much are you going to ask for it? Is $100 too much? $1000? $10,000? After you’ve finished this essay you’ll be more confused than when you started. That’s unless your product is bug tracking software of course.
I’m going to start with a little economic theory, then I’m going to tear the theory to bits, and when I’m finished, you’ll know a lot more about pricing and you still won’t know how much to charge for your software, but that’s just the nature of pricing. If you can’t be bothered to read this, just charge $0.05 for your software, unless it does bug tracking, in which case charge $30,000,000 for it.
(For those who don’t know it: Joel’s company’s flagship product is “FogBugz”:http://www.fogcreek.com/FogBugz/. Worst… software… product… name… ever…)
“Read the essay here”:http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/CamelsandRubberDuckies.html.