The Utility Case Vs. Value Analysis

Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want – Anne Lappé

Recently, long-dead Jeremy Bentham took a cross-campus trip. Shunning a wooden cupboard he long occupied in the Wilkins Building at University College London, he moved, greatly aided, to a shiny new booth in UCL’s Student Centre (A). Famously, his penultimate journey was to a UCL council meeting, where they recorded him as “present, but not voting.”

Bentham’s ideas about utility theory still hold sway. Many firms used it to figure cell phone prices (B). Such studies queried participants’ willingness to pay for features, to which researchers assigned utils, a utility measure. Then analysts converted utils to dollars.

Hypernomics notes respondents gave hypothetical answers; they weren’t buying phones, that util value varies widely, and that this method ignored available relevant communication data at their peril.

We display our willingness to pay to connect when we put up cash to make towers (C), walkie-talkies (D), or car phones (E). Value Analysis considers past and present market states to predict the future.

Jeremy may not vote, but we do.

The best utility case holds its inventor.

#value #utility #hypernomics #innovation #marketanalysis