In his newest book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price, best-selling author and digital trendwatcher Chris Anderson creates much ado about nothing. Currently editor-in-chief at Wired magazine, and a former editor at The Economist, Nature and Science, he brings a;decidedly;scientific;approach;to;the;taxonomy;of;zero;pricing— from the history and psychology of free goods and services, to
He digs into the nitty-gritty of the myriad forms that free marketing can
take, including who uses them, how they work, and why.
As a result, Anderson’s thesis goes far beyond the goodies-for-nothing
at your local megamart and prize at the bottom of your kids’ cereal box.
His big picture is quite a bit more elegant, and based on a paradoxical
truth: Digital technology, with its minimal costs of distribution and nearly
limitless storage space, has created a world in which people and companies
survive and thrive without direct monetary compensation from many, if not
a majority, of their users.
“For many speakers, the best analogy is arguably the music industry—in
other words, less oriented toward selling of the product and more toward
selling of the performance,” he says. “Free music serves as marketing for
the artist, who ultimately makes the money from touring. As a speaker,
customized version. Fundamentally, a speaker is offering a unique deep
experience, an interactive face-to-face meeting. That’s something people
will still pay for.”