King James Bible: Written by Committee

By James Marland
August 12, 2011

The old joke goes, that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. But this year we celebrate the 400th anniversary of one of the greatest works of the English Language, the King James Bible.

And it was written by a committee.

And unlike the old joke about the camel, this committee turned out to be inspired. They came up with phrases such as “scapegoat”,  “the powers that be”, “my brother’s keeper”, “filthy lucre”,  “the apple of his eye”, “a man after his own heart”, “signs of the times”,  “broken hearted”.

CamelShadows_ThumbnailIn some ways this “Wisdom of Crowds” is also applicable to price guidance, only this time the “committee” is the pioneering sales teams who have gone before and tried and tested prices in the market in their efforts to close business. When your system gives you a guide price for a segment, it is effectively polling the committee via examination of the invoice prices they were able to get. Each sale is unknowingly an additional data point on what the market will pay for this product in this segment. New sales reps get the accumulated wisdom of the grey-beards at the touch of a button.

And as the King James Bible says (Job 28:18): The price of wisdom is above rubies.

– James Marland


  • Guide Price , invoice prices , Price Guidance , Sales Teams , segmentation

    James Marland

    James Marland is the Director of Business Consulting at Vendavo based in London. In this role he helps diagnose Pricing Opportunities and develops business cases for pricing projects with ROI models. James has been in the pricing software space for many years, both on the customer and supply chain side: so he has a view from “each side of the table”. Prior to his pricing career he was VP of Solutions at Ariba and has also spent 5 years at SAP America. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Southampton.