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Free: The Future of a Radical Price Hardcover – 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Top Customer Reviews
First off, I've implemented a few "freebies" in the past year that I give away in my line of work; the question was whether it would pay off. It did. I offered something of value (to me, and I believe to my customer) and waited to see if interest in the free item would increase sales of a companion item. Sales were there.
So many people are attacking the book for various reasons, but for me the key question for rating this book was "Is the author's information accurate and can it hold up to real-world results?" The answer is Yes.
A lot of things in the book aren't relevant to me, but I've taken what I can from it (in addition to the original article) and made some changes in how I do business. (I'm a small business owner, not a corporate giant.)
You can agree or disagree with the book's overall theme, but my findings are that the book has a solid grasp on how any business that has any Internet-related sales or support must adapt. The author's argument about how costs are moving to zero for the "bits" world is dead-on.
I find it humorous that so many negative reviews of the book are simply about the price of the book (or the lack of price for some of the free versions). The book is about the concept of Free. Some people are seeing "Free" on the cover and whining that it has a price???
The book isn't light reading - it's got some complicated concepts that the reader must grasp, especially business owners.Read more ›
The above successes have occured in what Anderson labels the "bits" world that relies on the electronic generation of information, but free can also work in what Anderson calls the "atoms" world, where products are things you can hold or services that you can experience. Telecommunications companies, for example, give you a free cell phone but make their money on usage and ring tones. Anderson provides a good number of examples in table form of both bits and atoms free.Read more ›
The book really hooked me in the beginning, but wandered thoughout the middle as a hodgepodge of poorly-chosen or explained examples, and then finished more strongly with summaries of free-style strategies.
My biggest disappointment was that in the 274-page guide, Anderson devoted barely two pages to the strategy of free books in particular. I thought this was an important case study that deserved more coverage, as it can tie together an older model of book publishing with new media and free electronic outreach.
I really objected to some of the overlooked opportunities to discuss the ethics of some free models, such as the "free" electronic health record and practice management software that is given to doctors in return for their patients' anonymized medical chart information. The patients' health history data is resold for $50 to $500 per chart. I am extremely uncomfortable with that kind of commercialization of the doctor-patient relationship, which I assume goes on without the patients' knowledge or consent. Yet Anderson does not discuss this as a problem.
He brings up the Corn Economy and the impact of cheap, ubiquitous corn, invoking Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, while largely missing the point that industrial corn-dominated agriculture with its economies of scale is in the process of ruining our diet and environment. Free in the short term can have disastrous, displaced costs in the long term.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
*** Highly recommended read for every entrepreneur in the digital age, including authors ***
This book is a few years old now, and thus some of the info and examples are... Read more
I was on a trip to Germany when I found this book in the English section of a bookstore. What a great find. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Michael L.F. Slavin
I read "Free" when it first came out. Today, I highly recommend it to would-be CEO(s). "Free" should be required reading to any one starting a technology based... Read morePublished 11 months ago by ybd
This is a very interesting hybrid of a book. It is about the human mind, how advertising works, how to get things to catch on. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Mr. Jared C. Serra
This book starts out strong, but gets kinda lost along the way and has no finale. He does explain how FREE has always been part of marketing. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Sam Rosenthal