The Price of Coffee

Perhaps this is an old trick (to some extend still unknown to a lot of people) but it is very useful and eye-opening to compare the value of goods against the value of goods we are more accustomed to purchase - coffee is one example. This comparison give us the ability to quickly deduce the overal amount of benefit extracted from a particular product.

I came to this conclusion completely by accident when I had to take a decision on a purchase order way beyond what I was accustomed to pay. I am not going to get into details about the case but it is fair to say that for me that was the first time I stood up against very though situation where I had to compare between different options and take the best possible decision. After going back and forth between all the advantages and disadvantages of the purchase I realised that I was still finding it difficult to justify the expenditure, although the benefit was obvious to me. I desperately needed a different way to look at the problem at hand in order to get a much clear view.

This is when I started to weigh the purchase against other purchase I was more accustomed to do. By comparison of the overall benefit and total cost I quickly came to the realisation that the problem was not as thought as I thought it was and I end up buying the product and in my mind I made one of the best decisions in my life.

So, nice story but how do you really compare products and services that may not be even related? How do you know what is the total benefit? There are two of the many questions you may ask but the answer to all of them is very much a personal matter. It is really up to you to decide what is valuable and worth your time. These values will very between different people with different backgrounds, perhaps physical location and other factors. This technique is not an exact science and should never be treated as such. It is essentially a tool to allow you to get a different perspective.

As a coffee enthusiast I find it very amusing to compare the daily purchases I make to the amount of coffee I drink. It is a personal thing and I can relate to it. The price of coffee serves me as a better measuring unit than the value of the £ pound. In one cup of coffee I know exactly what I am getting. With £1 I can get many things but it is difficult to perceive and imagine all of them at the same time. Obviously coffee wont work on larger purchases exceeding thousands and even millions of pounds because I would never be able to imagine drinking so much. A different type of anchor will be required in those cases.

It occurs to me that this behaviour is not unnatural. I believe that all people have short episodes of patterns matching between different options before making any decision. And these episodes are so short that we rarely catch ourselves consciously doing them. This trick is merely the action of bringing your conscious mind into the decision making process.

Obviously, this blog serves a different purpose than me philosophising on different subjects on pricing, decision making and such so what this has to do with web security. The answer to this is illustrated on the screenshot bellow.

This page contains the breakdown of the various options we offer measured in terms of cups of coffee. Why we did this? Well, because it is fun and it is different. Most of these options make complete sense to me except the last one which looks ridiculous but we have some plans how to improve it.

This is not to say that our products are cheep. Not at all. They are professional products and you should expect professional quality from them. This page is really designed to give you a different perspective about what we have on offer. If we can solve your problem in 14 cups of barista-style coffee per-month, well I am ecstatic about it. I will sign-up myself.