The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and the $23 Million Book

I’m a big fan of automating pricing tasks.  Companies spend way too much time on mundane issues like moving pricing information from one system (or spreadsheet) to another, and far too little time really thinking strategically about price and value. … Read More

In Apple Comparison, Dell Leans on Price

Dell has launched a new back-to-school campaign highlighting the lower prices of of Dell laptops compared to Apple.  At a high level, this is a great idea.  Apple has regained a (the?) leadership position in the educational market, which is … Read More

Microsoft’s Pricing Dilemma (Part 2)

We mentioned in a previous post that Microsoft is in the grips of a pricing dilemma. Changing paradigms have weakened Microsoft’s dominant position in operating systems and office productivity programs. Businesses and affluent consumers no longer upgrade regularly. What they … Read More

What’s worse than inflation?

When commodity prices surged and governments around the world pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into markets, crippling inflation was a major risk. However, demand is so soft that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell a record 1.0% in October. … Read More

Not Free! Why $0.00 Is Not the Future of Business

Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson recently wrote a provocatively-titled article called Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business. Anderson argues that the economics of computing on the net, where storage and bandwidth costs fall even faster than the cost of … Read More

Microsoft Acquires Pricing Firm Rapt

Software giant Microsoft (MSFT) purchased pricing optimization software firm Rapt to help make up ground against industry leader Google. Rapt got its start trying to optimize prices for computer makers such as Sun and HP. Rapt had some good success … Read More

French Court Rules Free Shipping Illegal

A French court ruled that Amazon’s free shipping policy violates a law that forbids booksellers from discounting more than 5% off list price. Rather than stopping the practice, Amazon has upped the ante, continuing the policy in the face of … Read More

Back from the Writers’ Strike– A Daily Show and This Blog

As you may have noticed, the quantity and quality of posts has suffered since my writers have gone on strike. But like The A Daily Show, we’re back. Fittingly, when Jon Stewart returned to the studio last week, he had … Read More

(E)Book Pricing, Part 2

The folks over at Wrox are running a pricing experiment. They’re discounting their ebooks by 50% to see how much extra volume they get, and whether they can convert people who steal ebooks into paying customers. While this is an … Read More

Supreme Court Overturns Ban on Minimum Price Agreements

In a decision that will have profound pricing impact, the Supreme Court overturned a century-old ban on restrictive pricing clauses between manufacturers and distributors or retailers. In an ideologically divided 5-4 decision, the high court ruled that the practice of … Read More