Free? Anyone whose woken up with a hangover knows beer is never free

Smart as one may be, change is hard on humans.  Malcom Gladwell, Chris Anderson, Mark Cuban, Seth Godin and others are all passionately debating “Free” and it’s future. Some people would like to belief free content is a phase, others that free is forever. The debate over free is likely an indication, by itself, that free is here to stay even though everything has a cost.
The efficiency of digital distribution changes things. Where one used to be able to distribute to many at a substantial cost, now one can distribute to everyone in the world with money (and therefore an Internet connection) at nearly zero cost. This jeopardizes any existing business that is based on content or information, like the news and music industries. Only a new and different business model will be competitively successful in the future. Stick with your old business model, and someone will develop a business to take your market away. Not because they are better, but because the glaring opportunity will not be ignored.
However, in a world where content is free and abundant, information organization, structure and insight become relatively more valuable.
If food is free, what becomes most valuable is the appropriate restaurant recommendation, or recipe. If MP3’s are free, sell the playlist. If you doubt me witness the attention people are paying to lists. Lists, information organization – this is the new IP consumers want and (I think) would be willing to pay for; especially if it organizes the information in a way that is personal to the consumer.


Eric Pederson

Posted via email from Random Eric


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