Pricing our Work; State of the Business

Cubicdissection used to be a couple of part-time helpers and me. I priced our work by looking at the bank balance and guessing how much we needed to pay next month's bills. We had no benefits and meager pay.

This situation has changed in the last few years. Demand for our work has dramatically outpaced our ability to produce it. Over the previous two years, I have tried to correct this imbalance by increasing output rather than raise prices.

Our product is challenging to make. We can not hire puzzle makers; we must train them. Attaining the proficiency needed to meet our high standard of quality requires months of guidance.

Unfortunately, it turns out there are no shortcuts. Simply adding bodies created chaos. Our attempt to scale created a downward productivity spiral. Supervising new hires took experienced hands away from their work. Costly errors have plagued production. Correcting those errors caused stress, which in turn caused more errors. The result has been lower productivity with higher overhead.

These problems have brought us to a critical crossroads. In the last two months, we have lost all financial progress for the year and burned through our operating capital. We are out of time and must take corrective action or risk going out of business.

Mechanics charge between $90 and $150 per hour to turn wrenches. Plumbers and Electricians bill $100+ per hour. I can't think of any puzzle we've made that takes less than an hour to complete, yet we've sold thousands of puzzles for less than $100. While I am proud to have kept prices at this level for as long as we have, we must now charge a sustainable rate if we wish to remain viable.

We will therefore be increasing our prices, starting with the November update. This change will be incremental until we meet a rate that allows for fair wages and benefits, ensures against errors, and rebuilds our financial stability.

Moving forward, we will take care to expand production sustainably. More deliberate growth supported by appropriate pricing will allow us to build CD into an organization that will be crafting puzzles for your children and grandchildren.

Thank you for your continued support during this change. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact me directly at