Chris Anderson: Free: Learn to love $0.00
Did listen to Chris Anderson lecture at Mediaevolution. The lecture was about his next book Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business. As always his lecture was good, but the panel discussion was great. When the questions started Chris knowledge and brainpower showed off. Most of the questions where around media and journalism: How media is changing with the concept of Free (Internet, bloggs etc).
My impression of the reactions of the audience is that his bestseller Long Tail was easy to accept, but the concept of free is not. The reason is that it’s pointing out why and how things will change. Change is connected to fear. But business is and always will change if there is not a few controlling the market. The media business has to share their business with 100 millions working for free online. Change is an opportunity if you know how to navigate. For Wired Magazine where Chris is chief editor is the web working well, online readers are transformed into magazine readers.
Free is the price you have to pay to get consumers to start using your product and services. Corporations as Microsoft did build their empire on the Free formula. That’s the reason for why they did not stop the piracy of their software in China (people got use to Windows). Know the are in many way out compared by a more interesting Free formula: Open source. I think the reason is that if consumers can create something together they like it more and it will spread faster.
Some of Chris Anderson best Oneliners from the lecture:
“You don’t value Google less because it’s for free. Where you spend your time is the value.”
“You can’t stop piracy (and I don’t think you should).”
“Being big and don’t have a solid business plan is probably not a good place to be right now.”
“When people don’t have no money, zero is a good price.”
“Using Free as a marketing tool, and with that reach consumers how can become heavy users.”
In other words: Making money, by providing values for free!
What I would like to ask Chris: Is money not an “ out of date” model of putting a value on product and services? I mean when consumers are contributing with their time, feedback and spreading the world – is that not worth more than money? Partly he did answer my question in his lecture, corporations are now starting to pay consumers to consume. But I don’t think its enough I think we stand in front of a new economical time where money is not good enough as a value exchanger.
Chris lecture did deliver good points about Free. Now are we al waiting to find more answers in his book that is out in 6 mounts from today.