Saturday, March 15, 2008

Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business

From the article:

From the consumer's perspective, though, there is a huge difference between cheap and free. Give a product away and it can go viral. Charge a single cent for it and you're in an entirely different business, one of clawing and scratching for every customer. The psychology of "free" is powerful indeed, as any marketer will tell you.

. . . in the digital realm, as we've seen, the main feedstocks of the information economy—storage, processing power, and bandwidth—are getting cheaper by the day. Two of the main scarcity functions of traditional economics—the marginal costs of manufacturing and distribution—are rushing headlong to zip.

Some thoughts: in order to take advantage of this publishers need to maintain a stable and strong technology infrastructure so that as new possibilities arise they aren't cost-prohibitive because you're playing catch-up. This doesn't have to mean a huge IT department (judicious outsourcing is a good thing), but it's not an area you want to skimp on. A solid IT infrastructure/strategic plan should strive to be flexible and scalable enough to incorporate new technologies as they arise and anticipate them whenever possible (without too much pain. A little pain is to be expected :).

Also check out the free how to wiki.

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