Free by Chris Anderson is one of the most thought provoking book, I have read in the last few years. Anderson argues convincingly, why most digital products will end up being priced at zero – free. And he show the reader how this could be turned from the author or musician, that created the content, to an advantage instead of a threat to his profits.
The book gives ample examples. You may have already heard of the electric cars that Better Place wants to roll out. But how can Better Place offer a free car? And still allow the user to benefit from lower operating costs than with a conventional car?
One sector that still has to embrace ‘Free’ seems to be the financial service industry – there is only one mention of Zecco, no other financial service let alone banks is among the examples.
Anderson takes wide strives into history, philosophy and science fiction literature. The topic being pricing models and pricing strategies it will still appeal to a readership beyond economists, since it is interesting and entertaining to read.
Above all I found it inspiring to consider the outcome of further sectors embracing ‘Free’ instead of viewing ‘Free’ as the enemy.
I recommend the book.
Instead of buying the paper version you can read it for free online (limited July 2009 EDIT: this link works only from US, see below (next page) to read outside US) or download the audio book version free.