In 2008 after reading Chris Anderson’s article Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business I had two reactions:
- Resistance, a quick knee jerk reaction to say bah humbug.
- Curiosity, to dissect the notion of what impact free has not just on businesses but creative content.
I read the Free article a couple weeks after it came out on a flight back from Utah and later kept that edition of Wired on my desk for sometime, revisiting my notes to keep chewing on the merits of Free. My assessment at the time was that while there was much buzz about the article online I’d wait to spend much time writing about it until after Chris Anderson released his book on the subject. The article seemed to be the tip of the iceberg and not something I was going to base any changes to my business model on in the short term.
Last week Free: The Future of a Radical Price was released and again I had the same two reactions, but they were reversed in order and my resistance to the idea was much less after getting a clearer picture of the arguments made by Chris Anderson. First lets explore the reasons behind my resistance and then later I’ll dive in to my thoughts on the concepts outlined in Free.
Anything seen as a disruption to the status quo is always going to face resistance. The concepts with in Free really aren’t that new, but several of the case studies are. As we think of our own businesses the concepts with in Free are as disruptive as the technologies enabling the changes noted in the book. Examples of these disruptive technologies can easily strike fear in thosewho might feel that adoption of these concepts will kill business life, as we know it today.
This go around in reading Chris’ ideas, I decided to explore the concepts more openly and thoroughly versus jump on the sky is falling bandwagon. I read the book twice and took studious notes. If I found myself having a strong reaction to a concept, I made an effort to understand why. The result of this approach has netted a lot of ideas to talk about, so for those that want a short read look for a post to follow soon covering a high level review of Free: The Future of a Radical Price. I think quite a few of my observations made while reading Free warrant individual focus & discussion. Consider this a heads up that a short series of posts will follow on the topic.
What you can expect to read in this series starting on Monday, and maybe sooner if my schedule permits, will include:
- General Review of Free: The Future of a Radical Price
- The Assumptions of “Free”
- The Marginal Cost of Creativity & Free
- The Value of Free: Where is It?
[tags]Chris Anderson, Free, Book, Review, Photography, Business[/tags]