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Free: The Future of a Radical Price Hardcover – Jul 7 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books (July 7 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401322905
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401322908
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #287,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Anderson's timing couldn't be better. FREE arrives as whole swaths of the economy are having to contend with consumers finding ways--some illegal, many not--to go Free."—Boston Sunday Globe

"Chris Anderson's FREE unpacks a paradox of the online marketplace--people making money charging nothing. What was once just a marketing gimmick has morphed into the basis of a trillion-dollar economy."—Newsweek

"I'd put Anderson and his work on par with Malcolm Gladwell and Clayton M. Christensen as one of the more important pieces of business philosophy published in the emerging global, digital era."—Alan T. Saracevic, San Francisco Chronicle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Chris Anderson is Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine, a position he's held since 2001. In 2002 and 2004, he led the magazine to a 2002 National Magazine Awards nomination for General Excellence. He has worked at The Economist, where he served as U.S. Business Editor. His career began at the two premier science journals, Science and Nature, where he served in several editorial capacities. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from George Washington University and studied Quantum Mechanics and Science Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am considering offering a new product online and have been considering offering it free. I had hoped Chris's book would add a bit of insight into the whole marketing approach and help me define the reasons behind doing so.

What I discovered in the book was an insightful history of the concept of free and how that linked to today's trends. He makes a good argument for free being inevitable in the Internet when what one is "selling" is content rather than physical products because the marginal cost soon drops to near zero. He calls this too cheap to meter and if the volume is up then it makes sense.

What he now does that really captured my interest and proved tremendously helpful is give a number of specific instances where free can be applied and detailed examples of those applications. He explains that "buy one and get the second one free" is not really free and people understand it is just a 50% sale. He provides the rationale for there being two markets - free and everything else.

He provides a lot of specific examples and recommendations and I found myself making notes as I went along.

For instance, I'm writing this commentary and I'm doing it for free. On the other hand he introduces the concept of reputation, sense of helping, etc. that Wikipedia and other forms of "free" web content can rely on. He makes you think.

For a fascinating and well-written read or as a beginner's introduction to web marketing, I can certainly recommend this book.
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By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 50 REVIEWER on June 2 2011
Format: Hardcover
The best things in life are free, or so the old saying goes. These days, however, it seems that more and more companies and retailers are trying to get us something for free, and it is becoming increasingly doubtful that all of those freebies are the best that life can offer. Nonetheless, all this free stuff has certainly contributed to making many aspects of our daily lives simpler and more convenient, especially when it comes to those parts of our lives that we spend in digital world.

The raise of free predates computers, and it has a venerable history in the annals of marketing. Chris Anderson, the editor in chief of the "Wired Magazine" and the author of insightful "Long tail," narrates the greatest highlights of the history giving products for free. He also explains the rationale behind how the prices get set in a free market, and the reason why in the absence of almost any production costs we can expect products to eventually end up free. The reason that there is a proliferation of free nowadays has everything to do with the fact that the cost of creating and moving bits of information around is essentially zero.

Anderson spends an entire chapter defending the free model against its many critics. He takes every common objection to free that has been heard in recent years and provides a cogent and well-informed refutation. How convincing his arguments are, however, may depend on your own attitude and point of view.

At the end of the book there is a list of fifty different business models where products or services are given out for free. This is a useful list for anyone considering a cutting-edge modern business, and for the rest of us it gives us an opportunity to take a look at what kinds of things can be obtained for free these days.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a very interesting read and brings some very interesting perspectives on why you, or your business, should offer things for free. Much like Chris's last book, it will definitely get your mind thinking!
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Format: Hardcover
If you sell any product or service online, this book is a must read.

Chris Anderson argues that the price of any online good or service will ultimately fall to the marginal cost of production (nearly free), and through the use of real-world examples shows that the best way to combat free is being there first.

Highlight: Stepping through different freemium business models that exist as a jumping-off point for thinking about freemium models in your own business

Low-light: Felt like a 100 page book stretched out to fill 250 pages.
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