8. Bibliography & Credits

  1. Product Pricing
  2. Some Economics
  3. Pricing Psychology
  4. Pricing Pitfalls
  5. Advanced Pricing
  6. What a Price Says
  7. Pricing Checklist
  8. Bibliography & Credits

Don’t Just Roll the Dice was written by Neil Davidson. Neil is co-founder and former joint-CEO of Redgate Software. Redgate was founded in 1999 and now employs over 200 people. It was founded with no VC money and little debt. Neil is also founder of the annual Business of Software conference.

The book was reviewed by Phil Factor and Michael Pryor.

Phil Factor (real name withheld to protect the guilty), aka Database Mole, has 25 years of experience with database-intensive applications. Despite having once been shouted at by a furious Bill Gates at an exhibition in the early 1980s, he has remained resolutely anonymous throughout his career.

Michael Pryor founded Fog Creek Software with Joel Spolsky in September 2000. He has served as the company’s president since the beginning, and has also been the CFO since 2006. Michael graduated from Dartmouth College with an Honors B.A. in Computer Science (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude). After graduation, he joined Juno Online Services, as a Windows client developer. He writes a column for Make Magazine called Puzzle This, and runs the popular interview website TechInterview.org.

Book editor is Tony Davis and typesetting and design by Matthew Tye.


Anderson, E. and Simester, D. (2003) ‘Minding your pricing cues’ Harvard Business Review, September 2003

Breckon, N. (2009) ‘Valve: Left 4 dead half-price sale saw 3000% increase, beat launch numbers’, http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/57308

Chapman, R. (2006) ‘In Search of Stupidity’, 2nd ed, Apress, Berkeley

Crampes, C. and Laffont, J-J. (2002) ‘Copying and software pricing’

Cusumano, M. (2007) ‘The changing labyrinth of software pricing’ Communications of the ACM, Vol. 50, Issue 7, pp. 19-22

Davidow, W. (1986) ‘Marketing high technology – an insider’s view’, The Free Press, New York

Gallaugher, J. and Wallace, E. (2002) ‘Understanding network effects in software markets: evidence from web server pricing’, MIS Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 4, pp. 303-327

Gilbert, A. (2003) ‘CRM software or CRM shelfware?’ http://news.cnet.com/CRM-software-or-CRM- Shelfware/2100-1012_3-990880.html

Gourville, J. and Soman, D. (2002) ‘Pricing and the psychology of consumption’ Harvard Business Review, September 2002

Gourville, J. (2006) ‘Eager sellers and stony buyers’, Harvard Business Review, June 2006

Gourville, J. and Soman, D. (2005) ‘Overchoice and assortment type: when and why variety backfires’,
Marketing Science, Vol. 24, No. 3, pp. 382-395

Gourville, J. and Soman, D. (2001) ‘Transaction decoupling: how price bundling affects the decision to consume’
Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 38, pp. 30-44

Gourville, J. and Soman, D. (2007) ‘Extremeness seeking: when and why consumers prefer the extremes’,
Harvard Business Review

Harford, T. (2008) ‘Business life: Fair trade or foul’ http://timharford.com/2008/04/ business-life-fair-trade-or-foul/

Knopf, J. (2000) ‘The Origin of Shareware’ http://www.asp-shareware.org/users/history-of-shareware.asp

Levitt, T. (1980) ‘Marketing success through differentiation – of anything’, Harvard Business Review, January – February 1980

Macrovision (2007) ‘Key trends in software pricing and licensing’ Mason, M. (2008) ‘The pirate’s dilemma’, The Free Press, New York

Miller, P. (2006) ‘Sony losing mad loot on each PS3’ http://www.engadget.com/2006/11/16/ sony-losing-mad-loot-on-each-ps3/

Murph, D. (2006) ‘Wii Manufacturing Costs ring up to just $158?’ http://www.engadget.com/2006/12/15/ wii-manufacturing-costs-ring-up-to-just-158/

Packard, D. (1996) ‘The HP Way’, HarperCollins, New York

Quint, B. (2001) ‘Dialog rolls out new connect-time pricing’ http://www.allbusiness.com/sales/1012692-1.html

Sink, E. (2004) ‘Product Pricing Primer’, http://www.ericsink.com/bos/Product_Pricing.html

Spolsky, J. (2004) ‘Camels and Rubber Duckies’ http://joelonsoftware.com/articles/CamelsandRubberDuckies.html

Spolsky, J. (2006) ‘Simplicity’ – http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2006/12/09.html

Stiff, D. (2007) ‘How DeWALT turned customers into influencers’, http://credibilitybranding.typepad.com/blog/2007/03/how_ dewalt_turn.html

Sutton, J. (2001) ‘Technology and market structure’, 2nd ed, The MIT Press

Varian, H. (2003) ‘Intermediate Microeconomics’, 6th ed, W.M. Norton, New York

Wendt O., von Westarp, F. and König, W. (2000) ‘Pricing in Network Effect Markets’,
ECIS Proceedings, Paper 82

Wayne, B. (2009) ‘YouTube is doomed (GOOG)’ http://www.businessinsider.com/is-youtube-doomed-2009-4

Wikipedia – ‘3DO Interactive Multiplayer’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3DO_Interactive_Multiplayer

Further Reading

Various experts have delivered insightful talks about pricing at BoS conferences over the years. You can watch these talks on our website:

Patrick Campbell of Profitwell on SaaS pricing
While user acquisition is important, a 1% improvement in customer monetisation or user retention will have 3-4x impact on bottom line over user acquisition.

Jim Geisman on Why Pricing Isn’t Rocket Science
When pricing is done right – or right enough – you will generate revenue faster without spending too much to attract, close and retain customers. So how do you get pricing right?

Jeff Lawson, founder of Twilio, on Pricing and Owls
A very sharp talk from the founder of Twilio on software pricing, including how to measure value and put a price on it. Jeff is also an expert on drawing owls and can teach you his patented method.

Rich Mironov Demystifies Software Pricing
You can spend as much as you want on developing a product, but no one cares how much you spend – they only care about its value. With roots in B2B infrastructure, SaaS, and consumer retail, Rich combines ‘what-we-can-build’ with ‘what-markets-want’ to demystify software pricing.

Get your Fall BoS Conference Ticket

27 - 29 September 2021, Online

BoS Conferences are the events professional CEOs and serious founders attend to learn how to build, run, and scale successful software companies.

First batch of speakers and sessions have been announced. Attendance is limited to 300 spots.

"The only place where I feel, professionally, amongst my peers." — Scott Farquhar, founder and CEO of Atlassian

"Software people of the world: If you haven't been to a @bosconference, you should go." — Dharmesh Shah, founder and CEO of Hubspot