Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Free Is The New Business Model

After viewing Chris Anderson's lecture on "The Long Tail" and free business models, it all seems to make an incredible amount of sense as to how and why our economy is acting more and more as a free business model today.  In the beginning of the video, Anderson directly contrasts the idea behind limited resources versus abundance. As an example, he uses Wal-Mart stores in comparison to online stores.  His ideas all circle around the fact of how Wal-Mart seem "have everything" but it is in fact only a mile long and an inch deep with available product in comparison to the products available to consumers online. Second, he compares Blockbuster to Netflix, only making the argument even more convincing. "Choice. Variety. More...", Anderson preaches. Available digital files like GMail all operate on the basis of abundance. And, when abundance is being utilized rather than focusing on an economy built around scarcity, it allows the audience to decide what is popular and what is not. 

Anderson challenges our economy into being something more like what the people choose for themselves, not chosen by authority.  When consumers choose what is popular, it leaves less room for wasted money and failure.  Let the people choose what they want to buy, read about, and support. Not only is this good from a consumers point of view, but for the standpoint in which many businesses hold as well. If we take this idea of consumer popularity in context of today's society, we can look at Digg.com.  As most of us have already used/read this blog at some point, this is what we consider "post-filtering".  Instead of the website managing what blogs can be posted, viewers rate the blogs and decide for themselves what they consider to be interesting and worth posting.  Nobody is guessing here. Choice is freedom. Let people choose for themselves, and then make the rules. Don't make rules and then force the people to follow.  More things will work out in our economy/technologically if we can understand this today.      

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