Recently I haven’t written any thoughts about books that I read. Time to get back to this.
It’s kind of funny how my book choices changed over the years. From very specific positions, treating about C#, ASP MVC, RabbitMQ etc. I moved my focus towards the universal knowledge. So I was reading ‘Clean Code’, Gang of Four Design Patterns, books about algorithms and so on. As I still like to read those technical book, I enjoy another set of titles on my bookshelf: self and business development related. It’s not a mystery that’s related to founding HappyTeam, as I would like to make the most informed decisions, yet I get real joy from reading what motivates people, what are ideas to organize work or talk with clients.
One of these business related books I’ve read lately was “Hourly Billing Is Nuts” by Johnatan Stark. Catchy title right? Especially for all those freelancers and small companies that actually bill their clients by hour.
I was thrilled when I got this book as I was already familiar with some of authors blog posts or conference sessions on the topic.
Yet I was disappointed.
The book treats about value pricing as an alternative to hourly billing. Value pricing in just few words is kind of a fixed priced approach, but you derive your cost estimate not from work put into solving the problem, but rather from possible value your customer can benefit from your work.
So what you will find in the book?
All the cons of hourly billing, like:
- That you limit your income because day has only 24 hours and you can’t squeeze more
- That you’re getting lazy because of it, as making your work more efficient is not providing more money
- That your clients treat you as labor not as problem solver
You get pretty picture of how all of the above can be solved with value pricing and small tips how to convince your customer to move from hourly to value pricing.
So why didn’t I like it much?
I can’t say there is a big value inside, you get this idea of ‘hourly billing is nuts’ reiterated over and over, with just small tips how to get out of this situation. I was expecting more real world scenarios, some case studies or hints how to approach clients. Instead I’ve got invitation to utilize consulting services Johnatan Stark provides.
I have a feeling that if you’ve already seen Mr Stark speaking about the subject, you won’t get anything new out of this book.