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FREE: The Future of a Radical Price | [Chris Anderson]

FREE: The Future of a Radical Price

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.
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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

What the Critics Say

"As in Anderson's previous book, the thought-provoking material is matched by a delivery that is nothing short of scintillating." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Lowcountry Reader Florida USA 12-05-11
    Lowcountry Reader Florida USA 12-05-11

    Lowcountry Reader

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    "Good anaylis of Freeconomic business models."

    Good anaylis of Freeconomic business models. Really well read and enjoyable book. Also the price is right. Will probably buy some of Chris Anderson's other books when I have a chance. Get it and give a listen.... it is free!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    A BERKELEY, CA, United States 12-01-11
    A BERKELEY, CA, United States 12-01-11
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    "Great book!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Definitely a great book for anyone interested in the concept of free and the digital age.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    andy 11-30-11
    andy 11-30-11 Member Since 2012
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    "Well done. Great concepts."

    I really liked this book. Author alo narrated and is easy to listen to and follow. Content is well organized. Excellent research. I thought this book would be sub-par because it was free, but on the contrary, it is excellent. If you are looking to incorporate free into your business, then this book is highly recomended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack United States 11-29-11
    Jack United States 11-29-11
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    "Forcing my kids to read it!"

    This was a recommended to me by a friend, and now I'm only half way through it but love this book. I've told my kids that they've got to listen to it for the sake of their future, and bring it up so often that it's become a family joke. This is a must read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Naperville, IL, United States 11-18-11
    Amazon Customer Naperville, IL, United States 11-18-11

    BinChicago

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    "Well Said"

    Nothing really new here, but Chris Robinson puts the practice of free into a current context. Very well done and great to listen to. Extremely cool it was free!

    Now, where is that latest copy of Wired I just bought?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin Germantown, WI, United States 10-20-11
    Martin Germantown, WI, United States 10-20-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Free is good as long as you get your money's worth"

    I downloaded this for free, which apparently was the author's plan based on some of the free models he describes. This is, at it's heart, a business book that looks at how zero cost can be made to work. In some cases it's because the cost of the item has decreased to the point that it's just easier to round down to zero (although that seems to work best for services and non-physical properties) and in other cases the free item is subsidized by other for-cost products.

    While I did get some valuable insight into how to market using free as a model, I do have a couple bones to pick with the premise. First, none of the examples given in the book are truly free. In every case the cost is borne by someone, at some point in the product's lifespan. Sure, Google gives gigabytes of storage and access to their search engine for free, but the costs are covered through AdWords and other Google businesses. It's free to you, but that's because someone else is picking up the tab. To be fair, the author does point this out in his many examples.

    On the other hand, he's fallen into the "Music should be free and piracy is good" trap. There are certainly examples that "prove" that piracy has benefited an artist or studio, but I suspect that most artists would prefer a check rather than a kind word. However, he does give examples where artists have created their own pirated music as part of a marketing plan; that may be an interesting strategy in an increasingly digital world.

    Overall, some very interesting ideas presented with enthusiasm and energy as read by the author. And giving the audiobook away for free (at least at the time I got it) certainly proves he's willing practice what he preaches.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EMIR BRIDGEPORT, CT, United States 09-01-11
    EMIR BRIDGEPORT, CT, United States 09-01-11
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    "Excellent Book comprehensive Free wake up pill"

    Overall the book is excellent, it answer anything you would have liked to know about the subject and even more. Narration is pretty fast though, ended up suspecting that is actually a technique so you go and buy the paper edition to be able to think back and review some of the concepts, maybe application of Freemium itself. Very good book overall most recomendable!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacel Miami, FL, United States 07-22-11
    Jacel Miami, FL, United States 07-22-11
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    "It make sense"

    This is a very educational book. The author explained well why we get free stuffs and why businesses do them for marketing. So now, we know, while we get deep discounts w/ amazon & the truth is they're earning too much from this trick.

    You gotta listen to this!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jozef Atlanta, GA, United States 07-22-11
    Jozef Atlanta, GA, United States 07-22-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Pleasant surprise"

    When I got the book, I expected a manifesto in favor of free stuff on the Internet. I was very pleasantly surprised that it wasn't so. The author did a very good job describing the free economy as a viable alternative to traditional business models. The description of various forms of free, with plenty of examples and side stories makes the book highly useful for anyone contemplating an on-line business. The presentation was also superb. The author read his own book, and despite sounding quite excited about it (in my opinion, that further improved the book), he was very clear in his reading.

    The book has a few downsides, though. Most importantly, the author sometimes confuses causation with correlation. This seriously weakens some of his arguments. The other problem was the existence of "sidebars" - related stories, but completely isolated from the main text. While they work well in books, in an audiobook they break the text continuity and make the listening a little more difficult.

    Still, overall this is one high-quality book, which anyone in an interest in on-line business should read/listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Bill New Lenox, IL, United States 03-10-11
    Bill New Lenox, IL, United States 03-10-11
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    "Everyone should read this book"

    I found such value in Anderson's observations that I developed an honors college course around it. This book details the transforming power of the internet and its use of minimal incremental cost to change the marketplace. Those who understand "FREE" will rule the future. Those who don't will fail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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