Pay what it’s Worth

In the last couple of months I have given several talks and workshops next to my freelance assignments. Topics have been Complex Problem Solving, Agile/Scrum for managent and Scrum workshops.

Usually the question of payment comes up. “What’s your fee?” “What do you want for it?” That kind of questions. For these kind of talks or workshops I do the following:

“Pay what it’s worth to you and your organisation.” 

I will do the talk or give the workshop and afterwards you tell me what it was worth and how much you want to pay for it. It’s like the Value for Value Model as described by Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak in their podcast No Agenda.

My experiences so far:

  • Everyone really likes the idea. They give back that it made them think on the actual value. It also made them think what (hourly) rates they themselves are using or would use in these cases.
  • I’ve not been let down. I mean, everyone has payed a reasonable fee compared to the time spend (if compared to my rate as a freelancer).
  • I do lose money on it, compared to the total time needed for it. Considering preparation, travel time, taking a day of “normal” work therefore missing what I could have earned in that time.
  • More importantly, I’ve had a lot of fun discussing the concept and seeing the reactions to it! People are really surprised by this!

For me this is really what value is about. As a company you can decide upfront what something is worth or what users should pay for your products or services. At the end, the user decides and should pay what it’s worth. To be fare, there are risks. For me as well. My family and I need to eat :). So, I’m not changing my fee as a freelancer to this model (although I would love to). I am willing to lose money for these kind of talks and workshops, just to make other’s think and see what happens…

What do you think? Could this be something for you? Please let me know!