The Three Strategies

In 2006, I quit my job as the VP of a boutique boutique dev shop to start my own solo software development business.

Because of my negative experience billing hourly at the firm, I decided to practice something called value pricing. It worked nicely and I did pretty well building garden variety web applications.

In 2007, the very first iPhone was announced and I immediately (during the keynote, in fact) decided that I was going to specialize in building web sites that looked and worked beautifully on this revolutionary new device.

Over the next few years, I transformed from garden variety web developer to mobile web expert using three strategies that combined to dramatically grow my income, free up my time, and improve my quality of life.

I wish I could say I decided on all three strategies consciously and with intention, but the reality is that it was mostly gut instinct and chutzpah. In other words, I kinda got lucky.

Based on my personal experience and after years of coaching people through a similar journey, I believe that omitting any one of these strategies would have left me stuck right where I was back in 2006… slogging along a decade later doing just okay as a garden variety web developer.

To help other folks visualize the way that the three strategies interact with each other, I created the following Venn diagram:

The Three Strategies by Jonathan Stark

The Three Strategies

As you can see in the diagram, the three strategies are:

  1. Positioning
  2. Publishing
  3. Pricing

The three strategies combine to create a “more money for less work” dynamic represented by the triangular area in the center of the diagram.

Making more without working more is a wonderful thing, of course, but I think the football shaped areas where only two circles intersect are equally interesting:

  1. Positioning + Publishing = No Profits (i.e., trading time for money is inherently linear and results in a low profit margin)
  2. Publishing + Pricing = No Value (i.e., unfocused publishing efforts result in lots of perceived competition and downward pressure on prices)
  3. Pricing + Positioning = No Leads (i.e., failure to publish results in a small audience and little interest in your offerings)

My hope is that this diagram illustrates the importance of utilizing all three strategies (i.e., positioning, publishing, and pricing), and gives you a helpful mental model for visualizing what you need to do to grow your business.

If you have questions, comments, cheers, jeers, etc... please feel free to shoot me an email at I'll do my best to get back to you ASAP.