FREE: The Future of a Radical Price By: Chris Anderson 

FREE: The Future of a Radical Pricefree
By: Chris Anderson
Narrated by: Chris Anderson
Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
Release date: 07-02-09
Publisher: Hyperion

If everything was free, how would anyone make money? While not everything would be free but this book shows the incredible business strategy that will surprise you, in that it works. Chris Anderson points out that free is not just a gimmick but is a real business plan that will succeed. By the way, on Anderson’s book is FREE, so he put his money where his mouth is, or maybe

Speaking of the author, Chris Anderson, he also narrates this book and while I’m a bit wary of authors that narrate their own audiobooks, this guy can tell a good story. Anderson’s voice and delivery keeps the listener glued to the book, thus making this audiobook one of those rare business concept books that will entertain while teaching, or even teach while entertaining.

In this day and age where nearly everything is free via the internet, (podcasts, TED talks, even music) how can an individual or business take advantage of this trend? Chris Anderson points out how some have succeeded already using this concept and even gives some ideas on how anyone can adopt this plan.

So how do Google, Yahoo, Facebook and others in the digital realm survive by just giving away their products? We all have the general idea of ads keeping a site running. I work in the longest free business, radio. In radio we give the audience free music, entertainment etc. But you have to put up with ads. However not all Free business plans rely on advertising. Give this book a try to find out more.

I will say that I’m not so sure the Free model works for everyone, but Chris Anderson will try to convince you otherwise. Maybe that’s because I’m one of the older folks in his audience. Us older folk are a bit concerned and suspicious about free things. (What’s the catch.) But the younger folk, Millennials and others are used to everything being free. So it looks like free may be the future.

Publisher’s Summary:

The New York Times best-selling author heralds the future of business in Free. In his revolutionary best seller, 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.

©2009 Chris Anderson; (P)2009 Hyperion