Archive for the ‘free’ Category

Free isn’t the future of business

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Few months ago, I wrote a post on “Why Free Isn’t the Future of Business” and concluded that:

Google is the only company making money from ads, and the remaining web 2.0 companies are struggling to find viable business models, and they are not making any profit because they are pursing Starbucks’ business model (full article, excerpt)

Along similar lines, on the New Yorker this week, Malcol Gladwell critically reviewed Chris Aderson’s book Free:

There are four strands of argument here: a technological claim (digital infrastructure is effectively Free), a psychological claim (consumers love Free), a procedural claim (Free means never having to make a judgment), and a commercial claim (the market created by the technological Free and the psychological Free can make you a lot of money). The only problem is that in the middle of laying out what he sees as the new business model of the digital age Anderson is forced to admit that one of his main case studies, YouTube, “has so far failed to make any money for Google.”

Why Free Isn’t the Future of Business

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Few months ago, I wrote a piece for a W3C meeting (more on the meeting here) . In my piece, I pointed out that Google is the only company making money from ads, and the remaining web 2.0 companies are struggling to find viable business models, and they are not making any profit because they are pursing Starbucks’ business model (full article, excerpt).

Yesterday, Last.fm announced that it will start charging listeners outside the UK, US, and Germany. Before this announcement, The Economist had an article titled “The end of the free lunch – again”. This article shows why Chris Anderson may be proven wrong when he says that “Free Is the Future of Business“, and it does so by learning from the past (dot-com bubble & see “Six years in the Valley“). Very interesting read! Full article here, excerpt follows:

” The idea that you can give things away online, and hope that advertising revenue will somehow materialise later on, undoubtedly appeals to users, who enjoy free services as a result. There is business logic to it, too…. The internet also allows companies to exploit network effects to attract and retain users very quickly and cheaply. … If you worry too much about a revenue model early on, you risk being left behind. Ultimately, though, every business needs revenues—and advertising, it transpires, is not going to provide enough. …”

Update: Also Time Inc. is looking for a business model. Here is what they tried: “On March 18th her company launched Mine, for example, a new concept that allows readers to go online and select articles from eight titles, for delivery in print or online as a free, personalised magazine.” (full article)

Free event: Us Now film. December 10th.

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Us Now is a ground-breaking documentary project about the power of mass collaboration and the internet – and its potential impact on society. Directed by Ivo Gormley, the film explores how the web is changing the ways we organise ourselves.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM (GMT)

Prince Charles Cinema – 7 Leicester Place – London, WC2H 7BY

Free Registration

Think and (Don’t) Speak

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Following up on recent posts about ubiquitous computing, here is a video that I saw: a neckband that can process the signals your brain sends to your vocal chords and can speak for you! The video is not the best quality, but is interesting nonetheless.. (no more listening to someone else shouting down their mobile phone?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyN4ViZ21N0

Free website hosting

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

The free saga continues. Lawrence Lessig is offering his latest book free, Chris Anderson is writing a new book “Free“, and now MS offers free  web hosting: “Microsoft UK is offering all Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Design students in the UK (email in ac.uk domain) free web hosting for 1 year. Each student will have access to 500MB disk space on a Windows Server 2008/IIS 7 platform, with 1 x SQL 2005 database. The webspace will have support for ASP.NET 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, classic ASP, PHP 5 and CGI.” (I received it from a guy at MS Research Cambridge).

Free book: The Future of Ideas

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

You can download The Future of Ideas by Lawrence Lessig free here (local pdf) or buy a (real) paper copy of it here.

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London gets free Wi-Fi

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

“…A Adobe Acrobat X Pro Sale free metropolitan Wi-Fi network has been launched in London, continuing the gradual trend toward free public wireless Internet access in Europe and the United States….The group behind Free-hotspot.com (…) to offer free Wi-Fi access to businesses and the public along a 13.6-mile stretch of the River Thames.”

More details here