Paying for Insight

I’m enjoying Seth Godin‘s latest book, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?. In his chapter on “Becoming the Linchpin”, he has a great diagram on page 52, which I’ve reproduced here. His linchpin discussion is a good illustration of the variance between price and value. I always cringe when a client reacts negatively to my billing rate (which is low for the industry). If they say, “I wish I could bill my time at that rate,” I know they haven’t got it and may never “get it.” I want to ask them what rate they pay their mechanic or their accountant. It’s a question of the value contributed, not the price paid. This is the problem with people who try to do too much tweaking on the product of a good designer… they don’t understand that they’re paying for expertise and then negating its value. Perhaps they’d rather have an expert at minimum wage?

Nope… there’s no satisfaction to be found in that formula.

This is what I do: coup d’oeil. Strategic Intuition. I connect dots that may not have seemed to have any relationship before. Other experts like a good accountant or lawyer are equally important. Understand their contribution in terms of value, not price. Otherwise you’ll just get what you pay for and never realize the value for which you paid.