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  1. Ryan Swarts
    18th January 2011 @ 7:12 pm

    Great post. I love how it forces people to see the (real) cost of features. It’s way to easy for people to add feature after feature without consequence. This inevitably leads to a feature-rich product that never launches. Or that’s out-of-date by the time it does.

  2. Bill Donaldson
    15th March 2011 @ 8:56 pm

    Love the resource kit. Has anyone explored an on-line version of the game? That would be useful for remote users.

    • Neil Turner
      15th March 2011 @ 9:30 pm

      Innovation games have an online version of buy a feature. I’ve not tried it out but it looks interesting and would certainly be useful when meeting users face to face is difficult.

  3. Russell Bishop
    28th March 2011 @ 9:53 am

    What a great idea. This concept sound like it would fit any scenario whereby you’re trying to determine what ‘upgrades’ to your service your customers would value highest.

    Are there any examples of a service online utilizing this example?

  4. Tami Carter
    22nd April 2011 @ 4:12 pm

    Thanks so much for spreading the word about Buy a Feature ( Luke Hohmann, our CEO and Founder, is the inventor of the now 14 Innovation Games of which Buy a Feature is one. You can find more about the game (both it’s use in-person and online) on our website (

  5. Francis
    6th August 2011 @ 5:40 pm

    That’s such a great idea to show a CONCRETE example of opportunity cost. I’m gonna adapt the same idea, but use it with my wife! Maybe she’ll understand how buying “stuff” hurts you! Or how “but it’s only $100” is a flawed argument!

  6. Anony Mouse
    21st September 2011 @ 11:57 pm

    If you want to really know whether or not a feature is of value, give out real money with the option of them keeping whatever they don’t use in the game.

    If they are willing to spend the $1 or whatever on the feature over keeping it, you know that feature really has value.

    This can be done quite simply using bitcoin.

    Create bitcoin addresses for each of the different options.
    An exchange site, such as TradeHill ( ) can be used to generate each of the addresses. (or an eWallet service like )

    Then generate addresses, fund those addresses and give each participant a note containing their Instawallet with the funds they can use to vote with

    It is then trivial to add up the totals received for each option.

  7. Colin
    7th December 2011 @ 10:42 pm

    Great game!

    A tip:

    If you use targetgroups or persona you can decide to prioritize these groups.
    So if Targetgroup A has more influence on the success of your product/website you can
    give the player in the game that represents that targetgroup more money to buy features.

  8. Luke Hohmann
    10th February 2012 @ 4:13 pm

    Nice overview of the game.

    I’m intrigued by “Anony Mouse”‘s suggestion to provide *real* money that people can keep. I’m going to try and find a client to try it :-).

    Patrick, a brief word on group size. “Buy a Feature” scales to an arbitrarily large number of people – in groups of 5..8. If want 80 customers to play, then you’d play 10 games. We’ve done this, for example, in our work with City of San Jose, CA, where we’ve gathered large numbers of community leaders to prioritize budget priorities. As you can guess, it is a bit easier to scale to large numbers of players using our online system, but both work well.

    Have fun, and keep playing!


  9. Ade Shokoya
    17th March 2012 @ 9:32 am

    Thanks for this. I’ll be running this exercise with one of my corporate clients to give them experiential learning of the importance of prioritising features and I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could advise where I might be able to get a ‘dummy’ set of features from?

    Thanks in advance


  10. James
    17th March 2012 @ 10:05 am

    Thanks for this.

    I’ll be running a session that will involve the team looking at additional features required to enhance the functionality of an existing out of the box software solution we are currently using.

    And because there is no development work involved to assess complexity against, I was wondering how to price each additional feature? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.



  11. Chris Walker
    29th October 2012 @ 4:09 pm

    I would avoid any online version of this game. The true beauty of this exercise is the collaboration, when used in groups. Use it as an ice breaker (with a back burner or stalled projects) for groups working on concept and experience mappings, affinity diagrams and rapid prototyping.

    The group interaction, conversation and questions can never be captured from an online program at half duplex. And this data when captured is priceless.

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