Hat-tip to Quincy for recommending this book.
I’ve just finished reading Free by Chris Anderson (the Wired editor, not the TED guy…although the Wired one has done a TED talk…).
It’s an exploration of the economics surrounding the idea of free and particularly focuses on the effect of the marginal costs in tech becoming too cheap to meter. It’s very well written and discusses not only what drives behaviours such as digital piracy, but also how such behaviours can be used to increase revenues for the ‘victims’.
The book provides lots of ideas surrounding how a modern web entrepreneur might make money online, whilst leveraging ‘free’.
In short, if you’ve ever wondered how people make money by giving things away, this is a must read.
Naturally, you can read this book for free:
This link may or may not be pirated - I wasn’t sure, but given the nature of the book, and Anderson’s own claim within the book that the book is available in digital formats for free, here it is in a variety of formats: https://archive.org/details/FreeTheFutureOfARadicalPrice
The book is also available for free in audio book version, narrated by Anderson himself. I listened to this in it’s entirety - made the chores fly by (zip file, contains mp3s): http://www.wired.com/images/multimedia/free/FREE_Audiobook_unabridged.zip
If that makes you feel squeamish, you can throw some money at Anderson (and Amazon) here: