One Hundred Dollars

March 09 Bullet_white By Derek Bullet_white Posted in Development, Business Bullet_white Comments Comments

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.

Key Insights

  • 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?

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