Posts by: Kyle T. Westra

The New Invisible Hand: Five Revolutions in the Digital Economy

Whither Middlemen?

By Kyle T. Westra July 30, 2018

Middlemen make for an easy target for disgruntled customers and observers of the economy. At times it can be unclear how they are adding value to a transaction. Sometimes it looks like middlemen are simply inserting themselves into a transaction to increase costs and take a cut.

The New Invisible Hand: Five Revolutions in the Digital Economy

The Pitfalls of Dynamic Pricing

By Kyle T. Westra June 28, 2018

In my upcoming book, preliminarily titled The New Invisible Hand, I’ll explore the most important technological trends affecting pricing and commercial strategy. One chapter will focus specifically on this issue: unpacking the promise and perils of dynamic pricing.


When and How to Automate

By Kyle T. Westra May 23, 2018

Software is good at automating repeatable processes, but that doesn’t make them the right processes. Doing the wrong thing efficiently isn’t the same as doing the right thing. There’s a reason that Peter Drucker wrote about the effective, not the efficient, executive.


The Cost of Free

By Kyle T. Westra April 26, 2018

On the other hand, getting people to open up their wallets and pay for a service, especially if they’ve become accustomed to using it for free, is hard. That’s true for pay-only services and it’s also true of the attempt to split the difference between free and paid: freemium.


When Price Doesn’t Matter

By Kyle T. Westra March 26, 2018

If you find yourself in this situation, reducing price can help to clear existing inventory but it will not solve the fundamental problem of lacking a product that people want. Better to preserve what profits you can and invest them into developing a product that addresses a customer need.


When Shortage Is Strategic

By Kyle T. Westra February 23, 2018

Shortages can be signals of excitement, quality, even virtue. “Sold out” is a powerful story for the right kind of product. Musk’s goal isn’t optimizing his earnings from flamethrowers. His goal is building excitement and investment around his companies. Selling out a flamethrower, and even a hat, does that in a big way.

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Checking Assumptions

By Kyle T. Westra December 22, 2017

Pricing is not only numbers, but strongly psychological and emotional. Certain norms emerge that dictate how products and services are sold in different industries. Customers come to expect those norms, whether or not they are necessarily the most economically efficient.

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Innovating the World of Management Consulting

By Kyle T. Westra November 16, 2017

Consultancies, he says, are focusing on lowering costs rather than driving value. “In any industry, when the basis of competition becomes efficiency versus innovation and new solutions, disruption lies on the horizon.”Innovating the World of Management Consulting

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Bundling Products to Help Your Customers

By Kyle T. Westra October 18, 2017

Price bundling typically involves combining two or more discrete products with heterogeneous demand, with the demand for the bundle resulting in higher profits despite it effectively being a discount on each individual product.


Strategic Consulting as Detective and Diplomat

By Kyle T. Westra July 19, 2017

“Strategy consultant” is a job title that is can mean everything and nothing. It’s no surprise that people have trouble understanding what skills are necessary for a strategy consultant, let alone what the role even normally entails.


About The Author

Kyle T. Westra is a Manager at Wiglaf Pricing. His areas of focus include pricing transformations, new product pricing, commercial policy, and pricing software. Most recently to Wiglaf Pricing, Kyle worked in project management, business systems analysis, and marketing analysis, starting his career in global strategy at a foreign policy think tank. He has extensive experience in ecommerce, sales strategy, economic analysis, and change management. His Amazon bestselling book about how technological trends are affecting pricing and commercial strategy is entitled The New Invisible Hand: Five Revolutions in the Digital Economy. Kyle is a Certified Pricing Professional (CPP). He holds an MBA with distinction from the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University and a BA in Political Science and Economics from Tufts University.