Captain’s log, stardate 20161006
Sent by Jonathan Stark on October 6th, 2016
Who in their right mind would pay ten buck for a dollar?
Allow me to explain...
On Saturday mornings, I take my kids to soccer class at an indoor athletic center. The classes are not at the same time, so I have to entertain one of them while the other one is running around soccer-ing. My three year old daughter’s preferred method of being entertained is to play the claw game in the lobby of the complex.
Have you seen one of these machines? It’s like a giant fishbowl full of cheap toys that has a crane-like robot arm attached to a joystick that the child controls.
Once the kid has the grabber over the desired toy, they pressed a big red button and the claw descends, then closes, and 99% of the time, ALMOST grabs the toy. Squeals of disappointment and delight ensue. It was clearly created by some demented genius and my daughter loves it.
Here’s the thing...
The claw machine only accepts one dollar bills. In my rush to get the two kids out of the house last week, I failed to bring any ones, but I had a ten dollar bill. I didn’t realize my mistake until I was standing in front of the game with my daughter looking up at me begging for “ticket! ticket!” (that’s what she calls money).
There I was with a useless $10 bill. I looked around for someone - anyone - who might have change. No dice. As the look of disappointment began to spread across my daughter’s face, I thought:
“I would happily trade this $10 for a single dollar bill right now.”
Moral of the story:
Money - even though it seems absolute and objective and mathematical - is a very subjective thing. What a ten dollar bill is worth to any given person changes based on their circumstances.
If a client agrees to pay you $10,000 for a WordPress site, it is because they believe they’ll be happier with the site than the money.
If you agree to build a WordPress site for $10,000, it’s because you believe you’ll be happier with what the $10k can do for you than with the resources it’ll take you to build the site.
This DOESN’T mean that WordPress sites are worth $10k forever and always for everyone. What it means is that in a particular set of circumstances, $10k for a WordPress site seemed like a good deal to you and your client.
P.S. And by extension, setting an arbitrary hourly rate that is the same forever and always for everyone and everything is completely nuts.