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The Beauty of Limitations in Pricing

Orson Welles once said, “The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.”

The idea that limitations actually promote the creative process is very compelling. These days, most organizations find themselves dealing with limited budgets and limited personnel. And pricing teams are certainly no exception. We hear from a lot of pricing professionals frustrated that they don’t have what they need to do their jobs.

But those limitations might actually be beneficial.

When humans have an easy solution to a problem, we don’t have to be very creative. If you have lots of money, you can usually just buy what you need.

However, as most of us have experienced, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” If you don’t have lots of money, you are forced find creative ways to solve your problems. And that can lead to incredible innovation.

Back in 1927, the producer and director behind the movie Wings pulled off an incredible tracking shot that, at the time, blew the minds of everyone who saw it. Take a look:



Today, this shot doesn’t seem all that impressive. We’ve seen really long tracking shots in moves like The Shining, Saving Private Ryan, and Boogie Nights. We’re used to a world where filmmakers have Steadicams, gimbals, CGI, and even drones to make shots like this easy.

But back in 1927, they had none of those things. And no one had ever done anything like this before. To make a shot like this possible, they had to get really creative. Their limitations caused them to innovate in ways that won the movie an Oscar.

In the same way, great pricing teams don’t let limitations hold them back. They see constrained resources as an opportunity to come up with innovative ways to be more efficient and effective.

We unpack this idea a little more in couple different webinars. Powerhouse Pricing Teams explores the traits and behaviors of teams that achieve better than average results. And it offers suggestions on how to promote these traits and behaviors in your own team.

“Better” Practices for Pricing Improvement examines how leading pricing teams approach continuous improvement. When “best practices” are out of reach, these teams find creative ways to do things just a little bit better — and these “better practices” can yield impressive results over time.

Seven Strategies for Boosting Margin Dollars explores simple solutions that can make a big improvement to profitability… without large amounts of effort or expense. By applying your creativity to these areas, you can achieve outsized results for the time and resources required.

In case you are wondering, the Wings filmmakers pulled off their tracking shot by building an overhead crane. A camera operator laid on his belly on a platform attached to the crane and moved through the scene to get the shot.

We’ll be interested to see what innovative new things you build to overcome your challenges in spite of — or perhaps because of — your limited resources.

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