A lot of times I have seen people pricing their products based on what they think is right, rather than finding out how their users value that product.
When I was in school, one of my friends introduced me to a tycoon game called Lemonade Tycoon and I spent hours playing it, everyday. I enjoyed it so much that I started looking for more tycoon games. Tycoon games were fun and they taught me how the real world works. How a business works. And how it’s not always a sweet ride.
Soon I came across Roller Coaster Tycoon, a game by Atari (Edit: It’s actually Chris Sawyer who made the game, which was published by Hasbro Interactive and then Atari licensed it to release more RCT games). Most of you must’ve already heard about it or played it. If not, it’s a game where you’re given a piece of land and your goal is to convert it into an amusement park earning as much profit as possible.
A couple months back, I made an app, “Cone”, which lets you pick colors from around you using your iPhone’s camera. Cone, being my first native iOS app, took me about two month to finish. The initial version had a good balance of usability, functionality and delight (some people ignore delight in their MVPs but I believe it’s as important as the other two).
Now, I hadn’t made any paid products in the past so I didn’t have any idea on how to price Cone. There were a number of ways—make it free with ads, make it free with in-app purchases, or make it paid with a flat price.
I don’t really like when apps show me ads pasted all over their interface, so this option was instantly crossed out. I briefly considered the second option, add in-app purchases, but having recently finished with the development I didn’t want to learn yet another complex thing so I ignored this as well.
Finally I decided to price it at $0.99 without much thought and hit submit. Before submitting it to the App Store, I hadn’t asked anyone about how much they’d pay for it. As a result, I didn’t have any idea if I’d priced it too low or if people would actually pay for it.