Background Note | HBS Case Collection | September 1989

Performance Curves: Costs, Prices, and Value

by Robert J. Dolan and Benson P. Shapiro


Explains the concept of a family of performance curves. The most well known is the price/performance curve relating the prices of items in a product line to their performance. Also discusses the cost/performance curve and its impact on product positioning, product line length, and technological options. Also introduces a reservation price or value/performance curve. All are considered in the context of competitive behavior.

Keywords: Cost vs Benefits; Price; Product Positioning; Performance; Competition; Value;


Dolan, Robert J., and Benson P. Shapiro. "Performance Curves: Costs, Prices, and Value." Harvard Business School Background Note 590-010, September 1989.