One Hundred Dollars
Recently I’ve been calling a couple of customers per-week to chat about their Scout experience. One of the questions I’ve been asking comes out of left field: ”What would you pay another $100/mo for?” I’ll ask the question first to see if they have any suggestions, then run a small selection of ideas by them.
Besides asking my future wife to marry me, it’s the best question I’ve asked in years.
- Filters out nice-to-haves – Some features we’ve considered implementing (many that would involve considerable time and ongoing support) don’t end up passing the $100 test. Avoiding features our customers don’t need saves us time, makes our product easier to support, and keeps the product focused.
- New Ideas – Some features our customers will pay for caught me off guard.
- Centering – It’s easy to get caught in our own feature net. There’s never a shortage of ideas to improve a product. Talking to people who aren’t thinking about Scout 100% of their working day is a good reality check.
Why not $50 or $1,000?
I wanted a number that was significant enough to force customers to weigh the cost vs. benefit: crossing the $100 barrier felt like a good line for this. If it’s too low, customers might not think hard enough. If it’s too high, the decision starts to involve other people.
Not a sales pitch
I’m looking for as much non-biased feedback as possible, so when running through features, I avoid painting ideas too brightly. Additionally, I don’t want to make it look like a backdoor attempt to sell something.
I’ve been talking to customers who have used Scout for several months: they know our product’s strengths and weaknesses. They understand our approach: when discussing features, they’re going to have an idea of what it might look like based on our past performance.
In summary, I loved the purity of the question. There’s no bullshit. We want to build something that’s worth another $100. What would it take for us to do that?