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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Freeconomics: Giving it Away

From Wharton's Knowledge Today, a view of alternate economic models: ' ... Chris Anderson, editor of Wired magazine, extols the market power of giving your product away in his new book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price. But another trend-spotting author, Malcolm Gladwell, pokes holes in the argument ... '.

Having worked with the commercial Web from early on I am used to free. I can also see how this cheapening has caused some very useful experiments to fail.

1 comment:

Vic Uzumeri said...

I see it a bit differently. What I see happening is that the traditional ability to 'bottle it and sell it' is going away for information.

People don't want to pay for canned information. They will, however, pay for intelligent service. In effect, they want the knowledge or information to come in a customized package that improves their unique value proposition.

The trailblazers are the for-profit open source software companies. Like MySQL (in the old days) and SugarCRM and a host of others. They have learned that their canned knowledge is worth less than their ability to provide services (hosting, support, consulting) that help users to maximize their ROI.

I don't want to pay you for what you know. But I will pay you to use what you know to help me.

Of course, that mainly works for the knowledge economy. It doesn't translate very well to the goods-producing or service economies.

just my $0.00002