Pew Pew Laser Blog

Code. Glass art. Games. Baking. Cats. From Seattle, Washington and various sundry satellite locations.

Blogs about pricing

Print vs. Online Products.


Let us take a little time to compare and contrast printed products with their online counterparts - such as a printed newspaper and the same newspaper's website.

The printed version is tangible and tactile. Once printed, it can't be revised by the creator, though the user can make notes on the paper. Since it's a tangle product, the user must find a way to dispose of the used product; which may be repurposed as combustion or packing material. Each newspaper will probably only be used by one or two users.

The online version is interactive: searchable and sharable. It is easily updated. The website is much more likely to be seen by users outside of the physical area of the newspaper. Many users will use the same "version" of the paper, which can generate comments and discussions.

These are completely different products, even though they share the same content.

Used Video Games.


For my first decade as a video gamer, the only game we owned was the Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt cartridge that was bundled with the NES. When we had visitation with the NES, we would rent different cartridges from the local VHS rental store. I had to rent Final Fantasy II on 3 subsequent weekends (playing instead of sleeping, and hoping no other renters deleted my save) to beat it the first time.

These days, I buy both used and new video games, though the vast majority of my purchases are new. When I'm done with a game, I give it to a friend, or sell it to an individual or company. Thus, even though I'm done with it, the game continues to contribute to society rather than adding to my domestic clutter or decomposing in a landfill.

There is some question as to whether the next generation of game consoles will enable this behavior. The poor poor game makers say that the used market prevents them from selling games, and that without up-sell tactics like pre-planned (paid) DLC and code-locked content, they'll go out of business.

I say BS to all of this moral high ground foolishness. Game makers and publishers, it's your job to figure how to manufacture and market your game in a way that benefits your company. It's your job to make a game so good that gamers cannot wait to play it; to include compelling enough on-line or social content to drive early adoption. The opportunity for independent and low-cost distribution has never been higher.

Cheap, Quick and Good?


The rule of cheap, quick, and good is that you can have only 2 of them. Your project can be well built, and done quickly, but will be expensive. Or it can be done quickly and cheaply, but it will be crappy. This applies to web development, and probably to all software development.

Wheeling and Dealing.


Naturally, Food Network's Great Food Truck Race is the kind of TV show that's right up my alley. It's a reality show with food trucks; each week, the truck that made the least profit must go home. Not only is it about food trucks (yum!), but it's also about marketing and business.

One food truck set up at a 2 day street festival, even though the $1000 vendor fee they had to pay at the end of the festival was pretty steep. In the evening, a second food truck discovered the festival, and negotiated a $675 fee for the second day of the festival. By the end of the festival, the organizer accepted $300 from both trucks for their fee.

I was surprised that the festival entry fee was negotiable at all, let alone negotiable to less than a third of the original price. I wonder if this is common in the food truck / street fair business, and what other industries have similar unspoken expectations for business dealings. Are web designers abnormal to expect that an agreed-upon price for services will be the price their clients pay?

Also, I would love to try Spencer on the Go, the French food truck. Come to Seattle!