More Free Goodness

We had earlier written about Steven Poole and his experiment with free books.

Masnick writes to clarify his position on free and how it is a sustainable business model.

His central thesis is that books, as other content, don’t *need* to be free but they will become free because they are or soon will be infinite goods and you gives away the infinite goods and tie scarce goods to their tail. And it’s with the scarce resources that you make money. Free is a foot in the door, as such.

So, it’s nice to see someone at least willing to explore the concept of free without shutting out the possibility. But free alone isn’t a business model. And it’s wrong to blame free for the lack of establishing a complete business model. Just because “give it away and pray” isn’t a workable business model, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t business models that do work. Hopefully, Poole and Pogue will eventually recognize that they’re dismissing the wrong thing. They shouldn’t be complaining about free (or making misleading accusations about those who simply recognize the economic forces at work) — they should be complaining about a failure to put in place a real business model to take advantage of what will be free.

Picture uploaded by piotr.amigo


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