Understanding Price v/s Value

As I had suggested earlier, I wanted to talk about price v/s value.

This is a simple but extremely important topic that gets ignored in other more sexy sounding terms like ROI, but there’s so much that can be written about it.

Lets hope this doesn’t get too long.

Price is a fairly simple term. It’s an exchange of monetary (or other) measure for something. There’s really not much more to it. You pay for something. It’s the price you paid.

Simple as that.

Now, lets talk about the more complex term: VALUE!

Value has various aspects though.

1. Lets first talk about increasing price but receiving a constant in value.

A car is a great example. It’s purpose is to get you from point A to point B with reasonable ease and comfort and a fairly consistent expenditure. A well maintained used car which is reliable serves pretty much the same purpose for you, as a high end brand new car.

For you, as the user of the car, the price difference can easily be 10x, however they’re both providing the same value to you (more or less).

Increasing the price, didn’t increase it’s value.

Sometimes, the opposite happens:

2. You have constant price and an increase in value. 

In most cases, this is situational.

So, we’ll take an example of a simple bottle of water which lets say costs you around a dollar. Pretty simple really. In most cases and circumstances, that’s pretty much it.

Now, lets change the situation.

You’re driving down a loooonnngg stretch of highway in the summer, lets say in Texas or Arizona where temperatures really can climb high. You have no water left and you know the next city is at least a hundred miles.

And, you’re thirsty.

Really, really thirsty.

And, almost dehydrated (Which is why you’re thirsty).

Suddenly, you spot a tiny little shop at the side of the road. You stop and go in and get the exact same bottle of water, for the exact same price.

But, what is the value?

Hint: Time and recency is an important component in this one and and important note for folks who deliver data to business to make decisions. More on that another time.

Then there’s the opposite:

1. Increase in price and reduction in value

This is actually a weird one to fathom, so lets take a really simple example.


Yes, apples!

We had an apple tree in our house, when we used to live in Canada and the apples off the tree were free and the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. There were no pesticides used at all and we really enjoyed these. They were also arguably at their most nutritious right off the tree.

But, not everyone has that, even in apple growing regions.

So, lets go to a place that actually produces apples, like the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. They produce some fantastic apples, and they’re very reasonably priced. You normally don’t get these after the season. The Kashmir apples have an even shorter growing season and a smaller variety of breeds.

But, these are local to the region and haven’t undergone much transport etc.

They’re relatively cheap too.

Contrast this with imported apples from Washington, or the Italian alps, or New Zealand – all of which are available at a much higher price than the local apple. There was an article I read recently that pegged the age of an average apple at the supermarket at between 10-14 months depending on where they came from and where they ended up. They have to use techniques for that; some which may not be very palatable.

The apples look and taste fairly decent, but their nutrition profile is so ridiculously low, they can be equated to hay.

Despite their price being quite a bit higher, the value is so low, especially after they’ve been transported all the way and preserved to be presented to you.

On the other hand, the local apple, has a relatively lower price and a very high value.

Similarly, the WWDVC is an extremely low priced event and has an extremely high value compared to pretty much any other tech event in the US. It’s one of the reasons people are coming from so many countries including Germany, Finland, Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand, UK and of course Canada and the United States (I may have missed some).

Heck, even I’m traveling all the way from India.

So, if you’re in US and Canada or nearby you have no excuse for not attending; or sending your employees. There’s a few last minute seats left, so if you’ve not reserved yet, you better get a move on and do it now while it’s fresh in your mind and while seats are still available.

Check for availability here

Ok, back to value.

There’s something called a value chain that I didn’t talk about today because we ran out of space (not technically, but it was getting long). I’ll talk about the value chain soon because that’s even more important to understand.

Warm Regards,


PS: You can apply price/value comparisons to successful Data Vault implementations like Dan did with Talisman energy. Heck you can even talk to the person who was the SME at the time. Bruce McCartney is not only attending, he’ll be present.

Ask them about and actual delivery they did in 12% of the cost estimated, 16% of the time estimated with only 13% of the resources estimated. Enough to give anyone reason to look at the DV seriously. And, DV 2.0 is a serious improvement on that.

Come talk to Dan and Bruce at the one and only Data Vault event in the world.