The online economy offers challenges to traditional businesses as well as incredible opportunities. Chris Anderson makes the compelling case that in many instances businesses can succeed best by giving away more than they charge for. Known as "Freemium," this combination of free and paid is emerging as one of the most powerful digital business models. In Free, Chris Anderson explores this radical idea for the new global economy and demonstrates how it can be harnessed for the benefit of consumers and businesses alike. In the twenty-first century, Free is more than just a promotional gimmick: It's a business strategy that is essential to a company's successful future.
About the Author
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.
Table of Contents
Preface to the Paperback Edition xi
1 The Birth of Free 7
What Is Free?
2 Free 101 17
A Short Course on a Most Misunderstood Word
3 The History of Free 34
Zero, Lunch, and the Enemies of Capitalism
4 The Psychology of Free 55
It Feels Good. Too Good?
5 Too Cheap to Matter 75
The Web's Lesson: When Something Halves in Price Each Year, Zero Is Inevitable
6 "Information Wants to be Free" 94
The History of a Phrase That Defined the Digital Age
7 Competing with Free 101
Microsoft Learned How to Do It Over Decades, but Yahoo Had Just Months
8 De-Monetization 119
Google and the Birth of a Twenty-First-Century Economic Model
9 The New Media Models 135
Free Media Is Nothing New. What Is New Is the Expansion of That Model to Everything Else Online.
10 How Big is the Free Economy? 162
There's More to It than Just Dollars and Cents
Freeconomics and the Free World
11 Econ 000 171
How a Century-old Joke Became the Law of Digital Economics
12 Nonmonetary Economies 180
Where Money Doesn't Rule, What Does?
13 Waste is (Sometimes) Good 190
The Best Way to Exploit Abundance Is to Relinquish Control
14 Free World 199
China and Brazil Are the Frontiers of Free
What Can We Learn from Them?
15 Imagining Abundance 208
Thought Experiments in "Post-Scarcity" Societies, from Science Fiction to Religion
16 "You Get What You Pay For" 215
And Other Doubts About Free
Free in a Time of Economic Crisis
Free Rules 241
The Ten Principles of Abundance Thinking
Freemium Tactics 245
Fifty Business Models Built on Free 251