Free: The Future of a Radical Price

Free: The Future of a Radical Price

Book rating: 04 Hardback

By (author) Chris Anderson

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Format
Paperback $7.68
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Format: Hardback | 274 pages
  • Dimensions: 163mm x 234mm x 25mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 7 July 2009
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1401322905
  • ISBN 13: 9781401322908
  • Illustrations note: charts, graphs
  • Sales rank: 391,769

Product description

The New York Times bestselling author heralds the future of business in Free. In his revolutionary bestseller, The Long Tail, Chris Anderson demonstrated how the online marketplace creates niche markets, allowing products and consumers to connect in a way that has never been possible before. Now, in Free, he makes the compelling case that in many instances businesses can profit more from giving things away than they can by charging for them. Far more than a promotional gimmick, Free is a business strategy that may well be essential to a company's survival. The costs associated with the growing online economy are trending toward zero at an incredible rate. Never in the course of human history have the primary inputs to an industrial economy fallen in price so fast and for so long. Just think that in 1961, a single transistor cost $10; now Intel's latest chip has two billion transistors and sells for $300 (or 0.000015 cents per transistor--effectively too cheap to price). The traditional economics of scarcity just don't apply to bandwidth, processing power, and hard-drive storage. Yet this is just one engine behind the new Free, a reality that goes beyond a marketing gimmick or a cross-subsidy. Anderson also points to the growth of the reputation economy; explains different models for unleashing the power of Free; and shows how to compete when your competitors are giving away what you're trying to sell. In Free, Chris Anderson explores this radical idea for the new global economy and demonstrates how this revolutionary price can be harnessed for the benefit of consumers and businesses alike.

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Author information

Chris Anderson is Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine, a position he's held since 2001. In 2002 and 2004, he led the magazine to a 2002 National Magazine Awards nomination for General Excellence. He has worked at The Economist, where he served as U.S. Business Editor. His career began at the two premier science journals, Science and Nature, where he served in several editorial capacities. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from George Washington University and studied Quantum Mechanics and Science Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley.

Customer reviews

By Lindsey Griffith 06 Sep 2010 4

While it is hard to nail down the theme of this book in one sentence, because to be honest it is not the most cohesive theme, it is basically about how companies can make money from things that are free. Most of the book focuses on the digital marketplace and how its inherent differences from the physical marketplace change the rules of economics and also behavior. Basically, the idea is that as the cost to reproduce things goes to little or nothing, the prices of those things tends toward zero, and good businesses must not only accept that but find ways to use it to their advantage by making money off of ancilliaries, i.e., concerts and T-shirts in the music industry, services, or other aspects of the thing sold. But Anderson also includes interesting discussion and examples of how "free" is making money for companies that sell tangible things, like airtravel or cars.

I think most younger people are probably familiar with many of his examples (especially the web-based examples), but the book is still worth reading for the examples and business models you might not be familiar with. Plus, the book is easy to read and, if it is not too in depth, it is well written and manages to fit a lot of thought about economics into 250 pages

Review quote

Following his New York Times bestseller, The Long Tail, Free is another look at the radical new way business is done. What is so exciting about Chris Anderson's Free is that it shows how a world of bits and not atoms has made possible a new economic model that goes way beyond the old concepts of "free with purchase" or "loss leaders." This is a book about a radical new economy--and it's every bit as timely and revolutionary as The Long Tail. -- Will Baillett