So what do we do when the wife is out on a Business trip? The daughter and father duo planned a fun outing, an evening well-spent shopping, playing games, and having dinner.

As we were wrapping up the shopping and entering the play zone, I could not but take the “Pricing” part out of me :). There were 2 competing play zones (next to each other) and had 2 very different pricing models.

1. You had pre-charged cards for Rs1000, 2000, and 5000 and
2. You pay for each game that you play

Plan 1 is similar to – Subscription
Plan 2 is similar to – “Pay as you go” or “On-demand”

Well, being a #saaspricing guy, you know where I would have headed as a customer.

Against my daughter’s wish, we went into the play zone where we were going to pay for each game.

The rationale for this decision –
1. I was not convinced about the value that I would get after committing Rs 1000 upfront
2. I was not sure if my daughter would even spend time playing all the games out there to burn the credits that I had locked
3. Psychologically, I felt good looking at a price of Rs150 per game vs Rs1000

And there were other sets of customers who were staying away from the play zone where we went. Customers who had kids (more than 1) who were gaming enthusiasts were happily taking the precharged card and walking into the play zone confidently – for they knew that their budget will not be exceeded 🙂

It is one of those tough decisions that many #startups and companies go through. You want to have a predictable cash flow (prepaid subscription) but at the same time do not want to miss out on customers like me who want to pay “On-Demand”

I still don’t understand why people make this an either-or question. Why not leverage the best of both worlds?

There is no harm in having a #freemium model where you provide:
a. Basis features for free and
b. have advanced features as “Subscription” or “On-Demand”

You might have a complex billing engine, but at the end of the day, you will not lose a set of customers.

Try this out the next time you are planning your #pricingstrategy

PS: I still have my cricketing skills intact. I aced the challenge against a bowling machine by scoring 50 runs in 3 overs. Maybe its time I join a club and restart playing cricket 🙂