FEATURE: How much is an hour of your time worth?

FEATURE: How much is an hour of your time worth?

By Intel developer

June 22nd 2011 at 2:00PM

[Sponsored feature] If time is your most valuable commodity, how can you save it?

Serial entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den star Duncan Bannatyne encourages people to work out the value of an hour of their time.

It’s a thought provoking experiment, and one I recommend you try.

Start with how much you earn in a month (on average, if you’re freelance).

The obvious thing to do then is to divide that by the number of hours you work in a month, to get an idea of how much you earn per hour.

Less obviously, he also recommends that you divide your income by the amount of free time you have, to get an idea of how much your free time is worth. Suddenly it doesn’t seem such a smart move to spend half an hour shopping for the most competitive price on games.

Of course, they’re both rough rule-of-thumb measurements, and if you’re freelance, you might already have an idea of how much you can bill your time at. But these numbers can be valuable when it comes to critical decisions on creating your next game.

Should you license a key component, for example, or build it yourself? The price tag on licensed content is obvious, but there is a hidden cost of any time you spend coding solutions to problems other people have already solved.

One way that the Intel AppUp developer program has innovated in the app store community is by allowing people to buy and sell code components that can be incorporated into apps sold through the Intel AppUp store.

For example, you can download components for your app for particle physics, in-game advertising, using RSS, and geolocation.

Many of these components are free, but others work on a royalty basis. The Fork Particle component for C, for example, makes it easier to create particle physics effects and costs a 2.5% royalty when incorporated into your AppUp app.

This is deducted from your share of the app sale after the store has taken its 30%, and not from the full retail price of the app, so you actually pay significantly less than 2.5% of each app sale.

There’s no upfront cost, so you can download it and experiment with it risk-free.

If you’ve worked out how much an hour of your time is worth and you estimate it would take you a month to replicate the particle physics work (for example), it’s easy to see how using a component like that could be a sound investment.

The time you save can be invested in promoting the app, or starting work on your next big project.

If you’d like to accelerate your software development and benefit from the expertise of others, browse the AppUp Component Catalog here.