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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

Critic Reviews

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

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Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Chris
  • Avon, IN, USA
  • 11-03-09

Great Book

Great book and interesting to give it away, but of course he is preaching what he talks about in the book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

"Free"

Wow! As he teaches in this book, I actually almost didn't download this because it was free. I believed this must be a pretty bad book. how very wrong I was it was very eductional, and any author that makes reference to Richard Feynman is ok in my book or in his! lol

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sears
  • Houston, TX, USA
  • 10-03-09

Exciting Narrative

This book clarifies 21st century marketing in a clear, concise narrative. It should be required reading for every entrepreneur who wants to be rich.
I have implemented some of the nuggets that I discovered. I can go on and on. The best way I can express my impression of FREE...is to say, "If there were a Nobel Prize for Business Economics, it should go to Chris Anderson for FREE: The Future of a Radical Price."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Must Listen for the Entrepreneur

I personally loved Blink, Freakanomics, Hot Flat Crowded, and Outliers.
If you like or loved any of these other books, you should really find this Free audiobook fascinating.
This book is in the same Genre as those.
But it has more of an Economic / Business / Internet tilt

I think is is better than "The Google Story" and " The Walmart Effect" but also along similar lines.
I must give this book 5 stars for being FREE!

But even if it was not Free, I would still give it 4.8 stars.
DEFINITELY worth the download and DEFINITELY worth the listen.
It is DEFINITELY a MUST listen for any aspiring entrepreneur.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The price was right!

haha, just kidding. I'd have paid for this book, even though I did get it for free (gratis, not libre).

It's quite an interesting look at the nature of digital economies (and is not too technical/complicated for a dummy like me to follow).

If you're not looking into the mass-production of items in the digital world, or you're not a small business owner heading out into the internet realm, and you're not a geek-head who likes to know stuff about the economics of the internet... you might not really find any "use" out of this information.

I must fall in the last category 'cause I liked learning this stuff, even though it's completely useless knowledge since I don't own a business, don't pirate or buy pirated items, and don't spend much time on the internet other than to write some book reviews. All in all, a very interesting look at digital economy.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Hoa
  • toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 01-25-10

Interesting..

Very interesting ideas. Makes you stop and think about all the "free" things we take for granted.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • william
  • BUDA, TX, United States
  • 01-08-18

Tries to prove a faulty premise

As a tech person, the author's (willful) ignorance of the cost of hardware, bandwidth, backups, maintenance was already aggravating me before listening to him disprove himself in the first hour of the book.

The author is obviously aware of the examples he cites of Gillette giving away razors to sell blades and Jell-O giving away cookbooks to sell Jell-O but then wants to pretend that this isn't exactly the exact same thing as his other "modern" examples of Monty Python putting free clips on YouTube to sell more DVDs or Musicians giving away albums to sell concert tickets... it's intellectually dishonest to call those things different just because they are delivered in a digital format.

The author is preying upon the naivete of the audience to the real cost of "free" digital goods as well as their gullibility to believe these things are actually brand new concepts...

  • Overall

Resourceful and entertaining.

Filled with strong examples, good insight. Solid arguemments to all premises. Found it a very worthwhile read.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Gratis!

If you were wondering about the explosion of free (gratis) goods and services in the world today, this book will walk you through it. Although many of the concepts in this book are familiar, the completeness of the discussion makes this a worthwhile listen!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A must read for anyone in business

This book is a must read for anyone in business or seeking to be an entrepreneur or self employed artist. It's not only a good breakdown of "free" throughout history and has great advice for anyone today. The case studies are very deliberate and show how companies today are either fully using the power of "free" and those that are not and have suffered. Highly recommend!