I’ve been on a recent kick about “free” — most recently, countering Chris Andersen’s notion that the future of business is free. While I believe nothing is free in the end, I do agree that people are being conditioned by the idea of free. In that spirit, Kevin Kelly recently offered a brilliant framework for winning (aka “charging for your product”) in a hyper-competitive, networked, attention-scarce Web economy — where the notion of free is changing the competitive landscape.
Recognizing the Internet is a gigantic copy machine that makes duplicates everything super-abundant and free, Kelly concludes in Better Than Free that â€œwhen copies are free, you need to sell things which can not be copied.â€ Kevin highlights eight values that can be sold, and NOT copied:
For me, itâ€™s confirmed and brought clarity to a lot of winning assumptions in my own business, while underscoring weakness and opportunity. It really shines light on a key question: What will people continue to pay for in this digital networked world?