Free: The Future of a Radical Price

Free: The Future of a Radical Price(ChrisAnderson/Hyperion)

Today the most interesting business models are in finding ways to make money around Free. Sooner or later every company is going to have to figure out how to use Free or compete with free, one way or another.(p.14)
Historians often look at the great civilizations of the ancient world through the lens of three grains: rice, wheat, and corn. Rice is protein-rich but extremely hard to grow. Wheat is easy to grow but protein-poor. Only corn is both easy to grow and plump with protein.(p.47)
Paradoxes are the opposite of contradictions. Contradictions shut themselves down, but paradoxes keep themselves going, because every time you acknowledge the truth of one side you’re going to get caught from behind by the truth on the other side.(p.99)
Some bands, such as the Rolling Stones, make more than 90 percent of their money from touring. Tickets can easily go into the hundreds of dollars, creating a thriving secondary market for resale. And why not? Memorable experiences are the ultimate scarcity.(p.156)
Just consider the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner. It’s difficult to watch it and not feel sorry for its stupidity, as it bouces haphazardly around the room, retracing its steps and missing obvious patches of dirt. But eventually, somehow, the carpet gets clean as this random walk eventually covers every square inch. It may take an hour to do what you could do in five minutes, but it’s not your time, it’s the machine’s. And the machine has plenty of time.(p.193)
The question is not “What does it cost?” but “Why should I pay?” This is not arrogance or entitlement – it is experience. They have come of age in a world of Free.(p.230)
Free is not a magic bullet. Giving away what you do will not make you rich by itself. You have to think creatively about how to convert the reputation and attention you can get from Free into cash. Every person and every project will require a different answer to thet challenge, and sometimes it won’t work at all. This is just like everything else in life.(p.233)