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Malcolm Gladwell on Chris Anderson's "Free"

There are four strands of argument here: a technological claim (digital infrastructure is effectively Free), a psychological claim (consumers love Free), a procedural claim (Free means never having to make a judgment), and a commercial claim (the market created by the technological Free and the psychological Free can make you a lot of money).The only problem is that in the middle of laying out what he sees as the new business model of the digital age Anderson is forced to admit that one of his main case studies, YouTube, “has so far failed to make any money for Google.”

This is the kind of error that technological utopians make. They assume that their particular scientific revolution will wipe away all traces of its predecessors

And there’s plenty of other information out there that has chosen to run in the opposite direction from Free.

Apple may soon make more money selling iPhone downloads (ideas) than it does from the iPhone itself (stuff).

from Priced to Sell

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