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What is Your Software Worth?


  • Wiederhold, gio


This article presents a method for valuing software based on the income that use of that software is expected to generate in the future. Well-known principles of intellectual property (IP) valuation, sales expectations, discounting to present value, and the like, are applied, always focusing on the benefits and costs of software. A major issue, not dealt with in the literature of valuing intangibles, is that software is continually upgraded. Applying depreciation schedules is the simple solution, but does not represent at all the actual devaluation of the inherent IP of software. A realistic approach, allowing ongoing maintenance, is presented here. All steps of the process are presented and then integrated via a simple quantitative example. Having a quantitative model on a spreadsheet allows exploration of business alternatives. An example a service model is evaluated. Conclusions are drawn that reflect on academic and business practice.

Suggested Citation

  • Wiederhold, gio, 2005. "What is Your Software Worth?," MPRA Paper 30150, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 07 Jun 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:30150

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    More about this item


    Valuation; intellectual property; software; software life; maintenance;

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software


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