Who’s Right? Who’s Wrong?
Who’s right? Who’s wrong?
Seth Godin, Chris Anderson, and Malcolm Gladwell are going at it about “FREE”, the book recently written by Chris.
Personally, I side with Chris and Seth, even though Malcolm makes a strong argument for his position.
I think it’s clear that if you look at the trends of “free”, you can see how it has grown more and more pervasive over time, and people expect free samples or free trials of whatever they are considering buying.
For instance, whether it says “Free Trials” or not, people expect 100% of their money back if they are not satisfied. This amounts to a free trial. “Free” has been woven into the fabric of American society so much that I believe most people see it as an economic birthright.
As such, I believe everything is trending towards free first-time usage. The “free line” (the amount of free things given) will move higher and higher as competition continues to grow and “free” embeds itself even deeper and deeper into the American psyche.
As more and more companies build “free” into their business models (not just as a marketing cost), it’s going to force other companies to lower their prices or change their models.
Sure “free” has been with us for a while, but it has been slowly evolving and has been slowly changing the game. Chris Anderson is giving us a status report. Read it. You definitely want to know where we are now so you have a better chance to get where you want to go.
If you want to follow the debate, check out Seth’s, Chris’ and Malcolm’s positions. Chris’ and Malcolm’s debate center around paid versus free journalism; Seth’s expounds on ‘free”:
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