Free Is A Great Way To Make Money

That’s how I ended a post I wrote almost three years ago, called In Defense Of Free. It’s a concept that regular readers of this blog know well. But I still get comments like this one from hyokon:

I am a bit worried about the current craze about ‘free’. There is
nothing that ‘should’ be free, but it seems like becoming a requirement.

I replied to Hyokon and suggested reading my post in defense of free. But I’ve got a better idea. Go read this post by Chris Anderson in this month’s Wired.

Chris credits me with the word freemium in the post and he’s wrong about that. I suggested we come up with a catchy name but Jarid Lukin delivered the name and try as I might, he never seems to get credit for it.

Other that that little nit, Chris nails the issue of the free business model in his post. Here is the key insight:

The most common of the economies built around free is the three-party
system. Here a third party pays to participate in a market created by a
free exchange between the first two parties. Sound complicated? You’re
probably experiencing it right now. It’s the basis of virtually all
media.

And before everyone starts crying "advertising overload", Chris goes on to identify a number of non-advertising based free business models.

Bottom line – go read Chris’ post. I am happy to have his company working in defense of free.