February 24, 2017

What do luxury watches have to do with selling software services?

If you want to have the subjectivity of value hammered into your brain once and for all, look no future than wrist watch review site Hodinkee.com.

Recent articles include:

This last one I found particularly interesting. The watch in question is called the Vertex M100. To the untrained eye, could be confused with a $30 Timex Weekender.

So why the $3115 price tag? Sure, the M100 has a list of specs that completely out-class the Weekender.

But the components are not what the company owner touts in the interview.

Here are a few relevant excerpts from the article (bold mine):

The M100 will be sold by invitation only. That’s right, Vertex owner Don Cochrane is making the first 60 M100s available to purchase only to a select group of people that he has hand-picked and invited. Then those 60 owners (assuming they buy the watch) can each invite five more people, and so on down the line.

Cochrane says the kernel of the idea for Vertex came to him when he got a Panerai for a wedding gift from his wife 12 years ago.

“At the time, Panerai was so special and you could only get it in a couple places, and I felt really lucky to have one. Now everyone’s got one and it’s not as special, and that kind of annoys me. I wanted to think of a way that I could protect Vertex from becoming that, so that people would always feel that it was more than just a commercial acquisition. Obviously the Vertex isn’t cheap. It’s two-and-a-half thousand pounds, but that’s more because it places it in a category that you respect. Less than that, people don’t really take it seriously.”


Mkay, but... what do luxury watches have to do with selling software services?

I’m glad you asked!

Watches are a fabulous category to observe if you want to witness the subjectivity of value.

If people made buying decisions they way that most software developers think they make (or should make) buying decisions, everyone who needed a watch would be wearing a cheap Timex.

The fact that NOT every watch owner chose to purchase a Timex is demonstrable evidence of at least to critical points:

  1. People often make buying decisions that appear to be irrational (especially if you don’t understand their true motivations)
  2. There’s potentially more value received from a purchase than the direct utility of the product or service.

If you are used to getting beat up on price by tough negotiators, it’s probably hard to imagine that there are people out there who don’t care about getting the lowest price. But I promise you that they’re out there.

The question is: what are you doing to attract those sorts of clients?



P.S. What to start attracting better clients? I’m available for a limited number of 1-on-1 coaching calls each month -> Book a call and I’ll get you started, guaranteed