Pricing done poorly. The Oura Ring story.

There’s a movement underway related to sleep tracking and what’s referred to as bio-hacking.  Some of it gets a little out there, but in general it’s related to health and wellness.

One popular subcategory is sleep tracking.  As such, smart devices are gaining real traction to help us with this effort.  One such example is the smart ring company – Oura.

The ring works by tracking how effectively and efficiently you sleep, then makes suggestions for improvement through a companion application.  It’s become quite popular in the entrepreneurial community and I would also like to try it because I’ve always been a bad sleeper and want to improve.

However, they’ve come under fire recently for what seems to be a rather foolish move on their part related to how they are managing pricing.

Oura isn’t cheap (it starts around $300) and they’ve recently added a subscription service that you now MUST pay for to get key updates that you used to get for free.  As you can imagine, people are NOT happy with the change.

Despite the obvious missteps here, they’ve done something really boneheaded in my opinion – Oura is charging you for features you can’t currently get.  Say what?  That’s right, you are paying a new subscription fee for features you will get at some point.  I think that’s in particularly poor taste.

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Here’s the take from wired about the move…

New subscription model means you pay for features you can’t get yet. Warranty is shorter. Battery life is worse. Infuriatingly expensive.

Not a good look for a company that wants to grow.  It’s also opened the door wide open for competitors to steal their thunder.

Moral of the story, don’t charge people for features you might provide at some point.  You’ll just be encouraging people to shop around.

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