« Narrower is better (dark thoughts during NPR pledge week) | Main | Oprah + FREE = Blockbuster »

February 11, 2008


Glenn Fleishman

Missed the biggest free news of the day: Starbucks switches to AT&T for in-house Wi-Fi, bringing "free" to millions of people. 12 million DSL, fiber, and remote-access business customers get Starbucks Wi-Fi at no extra cost. Anyone who makes any purchase in a given month of any value using a Starbucks stored-value card gets two hours of free Wi-Fi every day that month. All current roaming partners of AT&T add Starbucks for 'free.' Wi-Fi's price tag just dropped precipitously in the U.S.

Antti Tähtinen

You write: "I don't use WiFi in public spaces anymore". Why's that? You should avoid such unexplained strong statements in your texts :-)

Luc Vaillancourt

I just found the short presentation (14 slides) on SlideShare.net.

A good way to describe the "free" to "premium" approach :

Free is just a pretext for something lucrative, like you said, first, catch the attention, take care of your reputation and $$$ may follow...

Glenn Fleishman

Not to speak for Chris, but everyone I know who switched to EVDO seems to say the same thing. $60 per month, and decent to good service everywhere without any configuration issues. Wi-Fi is different everywhere, even though (for me) it generally always works. I have many friends for whom Wi-Fi never seems to work right.

Doug Wolkon - Author of The New Game

Communication costs are trending towards Free, which should also make Education Free as well. With all this free information, how much longer are people going to pay $160,000 for a college degree in Communications. With Sallie Mae (Lender subsidized heavily by national government) in trouble, you have to wonder whether that is any indication of the economics to come regarding our Education system and The Long Tail.

Tyler Hannan

I attempted to post a trackback to this, but it doesn't appear to have worked.

The additional information regarding "Free" is quite interesting. I was fortunate enough to attend a presentation that Chris gave at BAI TransPay. Not surprisingly, the topic remained the focus of discussion (hallway, expo, meals, etc.) for the remainder of the conference.

As an aside, I've also made the switch to EVDO (albeit due to a built-in device in my laptop). The always there capability is of huge value when traveling.

Miikka Leinonen

How to use Free as a foundation for your strategy?
First you have to understand the nature of Giving. And what is the difference between giving and strategic giving.

I just published a book about the subject. Its informative and fun to read AND OF COURSE ITS FREE! Download it from my site www.strategyofgiving.com.

Irene Grumman

Thanks for the reference to Kevin Kelly's "Better Than Free," essay.
I had just read 8 seminar points on an eBay workshop which used several of the same ideas, notably Trust, Immediacy, Accessibility, Findability, in different words. The comments on Kevin's essay provoked thought, as do many of the comments on your blog posts. I'll look for your book review in WIRED.


well – what people don't know is that Harper Collins only launched this free online reading site after the bestselling author Paulo Coelho revealed his pirate coelho blog to the world during the DLD conference in Munich last January.
I read the interveiw he gave for Newsweek and can't help to join the dots:
I doubt Harper Collins would have made such a move without this author's pressure.
Thumbs up for Pirate Coelho!


I guess Microsoft's bid for Yahoo will not happen in the near future. Since, Yahoo growing in the right pace they'll expect more price than what Microsoft offers and there is no possibility to close this deal anytime soon.
car breakdown services


Free works, but I have some concerns about current free discussions. Free trend should not mean 'non-free' models are wrong, or we have figured out the ultimate business model.

A manual trackback here, as I cannot do it with my blogger blog.

Julie, writer Surefirewealth.com

Free is a powerful rival. Unless you are way ahead in terms of quality or some other element, people might dump you for free. Now this should already give people an idea on how to incorporate free into their own businesses. Maybe the only thing that can equally compete with free is another free.


Free works, but I have some concerns about current free discussions. Free trend should not mean 'non-free' models are wrong, or we have figured out the ultimate business model.




The comments to this entry are closed.


The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Notes and sources for the book

FREE was available in all digital forms--ebook, web book, and audiobook--for free shortly after the hardcover was published on July 7th. The ebook and web book were free for a limited time and limited to certain geographic regions as determined by each national publisher; the unabridged MP3 audiobook (get zip file here) will remain free forever, available in all regions.

Order the hardcover now!