Economics of Gratis

It’s not a very modest post title: The Grand Unified Theory On The Economics Of Free. That’s free as in gratis, free of charge, as opposed to free as in libre, or as in freedom.

The post in question is Mike Masnick at Techdirt. It’s more pragmatic than its title suggests. Here’s how Mike boils it down to bullets.

1. Redefine the market based on the benefits
2. Break the benefits down into scarce and infinite components
3. Set the infinite components free, syndicate them, make them easy to get — all to increase the value of the scarce components
4. Charge for the scarce components that are tied to infinite components

The post itself is a summary of a series that Mike’s been writing over the last few months. I haven’t followed it, but Glyn has, and I’m glad he linked to the summary, and drew attention to the comments it has drawn. I hereby provide the same link.

2 thoughts on “Economics of Gratis”

  1. Andrew, I happened to read you because you mentioned Glyn, and I eventually read Masnick’s post that I found pretty interesting. At some extent I believe that SourceForge’s marketplace is likely to make open source services based on free resources more valuable. I am going to meet SF’s CTO next wednesday, more on this topic soon, stay tuned!

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