The New York Times bestselling author heralds the future of business in Free . In his revolutionary bestseller, The Long Tail , Chris Anderson demonstrated how the online marketplace creates niche markets, allowing products and consumers to connect in a way that has never been possible... read more
“So piracy is like the force of gravity. If you're holding something off the ground, sooner or later gravity is going to win and it will fall. For digital products it's the same thing - copyright protection schemes, coded into either law or software, are simply holding up a price against the force of gravity. Sooner or later, it will fall, either because the owner drops it or because the pirates knock it to the ground.”Chris Anderson
“The engineers brought us the technical infrastructure of the Internet and Web—TCP/IP and http://—but we were the ones who figured out what to do with it. Because the technology was free and open to all, we, the users, experimented with it and together we populated it with our content, our ideas, and ourselves. The technologists invented the pot, but we filled it.”Chris Anderson
“On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it's so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other.”Stewart Brand
“The "hacker ethic": 1. Access to computers—and anything that might teach you something about the was the world works—should be unlimited and total. 2. Always yield to the Hands-on Imperative! 3. All information should be free. 4. Mistrust authority—promote decentralization. 5. Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race, or position. 6. You can create art and beauty on a computer. 7. Computers can change your life for the better.”Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution
“Free brings more liquidity to any marketplace, and more liquidity means that the market tends to work better. That's the real reason why Craigslist has taken over so much of the classifieds business—Free attracted people, but the marketplace efficiencies that came with Free ultimately kept them.”Chris Anderson
“In short, doing things we like without pay often makes us happier than the work we do for a salary. You still have to eat, but as Maslow showed, there is more to life than that. The opportunity to contribute in a way that is both creative and appreciated is exactly the sort of fulfillment that Maslow privileged above all other aspirations, and what many jobs so seldom provide. No wonder the Web exploded, driven by volunteer labor—it made people happy to be creative, to contribute to have an impact, and to be recognized as expert in something.”Chris Anderson
“The lesson from fiction is that we can't really imagine plenty properly. Our brains are wired for scarcity; we are focused on the things we don't have enough of, from time to money. That's what gives us our drive. If we get what we're seeking, we tend to quickly discount it and find a new scarcity to pursue. We are motivated by what we don't have, not what we do have.”Chris Anderson
“Ten Principles of Abundance Thinking: 1. If it's digital sooner or later it's going to be free. 2. Atoms would like to be free, too, but they're not so pushy about it. 3. You can't stop Free. 4. You can make money from Free. 5. Redefine your market. 6. Round down. 7. Sooner or later you will compete with Free. 8. Embrace waste. 9. Free makes other things more valuable. 10. Manage for abundance, not scarcity.”Chris Anderson
On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other.Highlighted by 254 Kindle customers
Abundant information wants to be free. Scarce information wants to be expensive.Highlighted by 247 Kindle customers
In the atoms economy, which is to say most of the stuff around us, things tend to get more expensive over time. But in the bits economy, which is the online world, things get cheaper. The atoms economy is inflationary, while the bits economy is deflationary.Highlighted by 205 Kindle customers
This is one of the negative implications of free. People often don’t care as much about things they don’t pay for, and as a result they don’t think as much about how they consume them. free can encourage gluttony, hoarding, thoughtless consumption, waste, guilt, and greed. We take stuff because it’s there, not necessarily because we want it. Charging a price, even a very low price, can encourage much more responsible behavior.Highlighted by 190 Kindle customers
all forms of free boil down to variations of the same thing: shifting money around from product to product, person to person, between now and later, or into nonmonetary markets and back out again. Economists call these “cross-subsidies.”Highlighted by 190 Kindle customers
Commodity information (everybody gets the same version) wants to be free. Customized information (you get something unique and meaningful to you) wants to be expensive.Highlighted by 184 Kindle customers
A typical online site follows the 5 Percent Rule—5 percent of users support all the rest. In the freemium model, that means for every user who pays for the premium version of the site, nineteen others get the basic free version. The reason this works is that the cost of serving the nineteen is close enough to zero to call it nothing.Highlighted by 168 Kindle customers
Thus was born one of the most powerful marketing tools of the twentieth century: giving away one thing to create demand for another. What Woodward understood was that “free” is a word with an extraordinary ability to reset consumer psychology, create new markets, break old ones, and make almost any product more attractive. He also figured out that “free” didn’t mean profitless. It just meant that the route from product to revenue was indirect, something that would become enshrined in the retail playbook as the concept of a “loss leader.”Highlighted by 164 Kindle customers
But every effort to make this work in practice at any scale failed, largely because the social bonds that police such mutual aid tend to fray when the size of the group exceeds 150 (termed the “Dunbar number”—the empirically observed limit at which the members of a human community can maintain strong links with one another).Highlighted by 156 Kindle customers
Just as water will always flow downhill, economies flow toward abundance. Products that can become commoditized and cheap tend to do so, and companies seeking profits move upstream in search of new scarcities. Where abundance drives the costs of something to the floor, value shifts to adjacent levels, something management writer Clayton Christensen calls the “Law of Conservation of Attractive Profits.”Highlighted by 137 Kindle customers
1. THE BIRTH OF FREE
WHAT IS FREE?
2. FREE 101: A Short Couse on a Most Misunderstood Word
3. THE HISTORY OF FREE: Zero, Lunch, and the Enemies of Capitalism
4. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF FREE: It Feels Good. Too Good?
5. TOO CHEAP TO MATTER: The Web's Lesson: When Something Halves in Price
6. "INFORMATION WANTS TO BE FREE": The History of a Phrase That Defined the Digital Age
7. COMPETING WITH FREE: Microsoft Learned How to Do It Over Decades, but Yahoo Had Just Months
8. DE-MONETIZATION: Google and the Birth of a Twenty-First-Century Economic Model
9. THE NEW MEDIA MODELS: Free Media Is Nothing New. What Is New Is the Expansion of That Model to Everything Else Online.
10. HOW BIG IS THE FREE ECONOMY?: There's More to It Than Just Dollars and Cents
FREECONOMICS AND THE FREE WORLD
11. ECON 000: How a Century-old Joke Became the Law of Digital Economics
12. NONMONETARY ECONOMIES: Where Money Doesn't Rule, What Does?
13. WAST IS (SOMETIMES) GOOD: The Best Way to Exploit Abundance Is to Relinquish Control
14. FREE WORLD: China and Brazil Are the Frontiers of Free. What Can We Learn from Them?
15. IMAGINING ABUNDANCE: Thought Experiments in "Post-Scarcity" Societies, from Science Fiction to Religion
16. "YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY POR": And Other Doubts About Free
CODA: Free in a Time of Economic Crisis
FREE RULES: The Ten Principles of Abundance Thinking
FIFTY BUSINESS MODELS BUILT ON FREE
We’re hiding the errata, reading level, movie connections, books that influenced this book, books influenced by this book, books that cite this book and books cited by this book sections. If you would like to add content to them, you must first make them visible.