Why hourly billing is nuts for you
● Places an artificial limit on your income
● Punishes increased productivity and efficiency
● Stagnates your skills in the long-term
● Punishes automation and better tooling
● Causes ethical problems
● The better you are the less money you get
● Increases bureaucracy
Why hourly billing is nuts for your client
● Buys not the best work
● Causes longer time for feature delivery
● Causes the lack of involvement
● Buys more hands not more heads to work
● Increases bureaucracy
Example Junior vs Senior
50 PLN / hour
20 * 50 = 1.000 PLN
Delivery time: long
Code quality: mediocre
Code maintainability: mediocre
150 PLN / hour
5 * 150 PLN = 750 PLN
Delivery time: fast
Code quality: high
Code maintainability: high
● 40 hours job => 100 PLN / hour => 4.000 PLN
● Discover the tool for 500 PLN and could deliver in 5 hours
● A) buy the tool, deliver in 5 hours, bill for 5 hours
● B) client buy the tool, deliver in 5 hours, bill for 5 hours
● C) buy the tool, finish in 5 hours, deliver later, bill for 30 hours
● D) Don’t buy the tool, deliver 40 hours of work
work spend own bill balance client
A 5 hours 500 PLN tool 500 PLN 0 PLN loves you
B 5 hours 0 PLN --- 500 PLN 500 PLN loves you
C 5 hours 500 PLN tool 3.000 PLN 3.000 PLN very happy
D 40 hours 0 PLN --- 4.000 PLN 4.000 PLN satisfied
● Billing by the hour is like billing by the pixel, or by the line of code
● Clients don't buy hours, they buy results
● Clients don’t want your time, they want their goals achieved
Software projects should be billed based on
the client's perceived value of the outcome.
Introduction to value pricing
● Value Pricing is like fixed bids on steroids
● Don’t estimate costs (time and materials)
● Estimate client’s perceived value of the project outcome
● Value is a maximum amount a consumer would be willing to pay for an item
● Value is NOT intrinsic property of an item
● Value is what sth is worth to a particular person in a particular situation
Change your mind
● Don’t define scope => define value for the client
● Don’t define deadlines => freezing lake analogy
● Don’t base on agreement and documentation => base on trust
● Deliver results and value instead of hours
● Sell your head instead of hands
● Be a part of the business
How to define value of the project
● Why do this now?
Maybe you should try later?
● Why hire an expensive developer?
Maybe a better idea is to outsource to India?
● Why do you want to have a custom solution?
Maybe it’s better to use sth ready?
● The project will be very expensive.
Maybe doing nothing would be cheaper?
● When you have client’s perceived value of the project outcome
● Divide the value by 10
● Do you want to do this for X?
○ “Hell yeah” => send the proposal
○ “No way” => divide the value by 5
○ Do you want to do this for Y?
■ “Hell yeah” => send the proposal
■ “No way” => waste of time
Cost vs Value algorithm
● Guess how many hours the project will take
● Multiply that by your doubled hourly rate => you have X
● Guess the value for the client and divide it by 10 => you have Y
● Send the proposal for greater of X and Y
● The closer X and Y are the risk is higher
● If the Y is five or ten times greater than X then the risk is drastically reduced
Revenue vs Profit
Revenue — the amount of money you receive from your clients
Profit — your revenue minus your cost
Your biggest expense is YOUR TIME!
Development work is GREAT for revenue but SUCKS for profitability.
Growth is NOT more revenue
Growth is increasing your profits
You want to charge for your head, not your hands.
Smarts, not labor.
Results, not deliverables.
Outcomes, not activities.
Multiply your head instead of your hands.
Solve bigger problems… for bigger clients… with less effort.