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Ideas are the Only Currency in the New Economy

An Amazing Example of Curated Content: Free as a Business Model

February 9th, 2011 · No Comments · Ideas

Big Ideas:

  • There are numerous examples of companies prospering by giving away their product for free.  Can a free business model transform your business?
  • In a world of information overload, quality curated content is highly needed. Can you create evergreen content that your customers will search for and bookmark?

Free as a Business Model - Trendwatching.comTrendwatching has an amazingly comprehensive page called Free Love with dozens of examples of  business models where the main product is given away for free. It is a worthwhile exercise to study the examples to see if your company can rethink its business model to compete in a world of scarce attention and decreasing production costs.

Here is how Trendwatching describes the Free Love page:

FREE LOVE: the ongoing rise of free, valuable stuff that’s available to consumers online and offline. From AirAsia tickets to Wikipedia, and from diapers to music.

FREE LOVE thrives on an all-out war for consumers’ ever-scarcer attention and the resulting new business models and marketing techniques, but also benefits from the ever-decreasing costs of producing physical goods, the post-scarcity dynamics of the online world (and the related avalanche of free content created by attention-hungry members of GENERATION C), the many C2C marketplaces enabling consumers to swap instead of spend, and an emerging recycling culture.

Expect FREE LOVE to become an integral if not essential part of doing business.

Curation is the Future

Another important lesson here is the value of curated content, like Free Love. Blogs are a terrible format for non-fiction or how-to information. It would be much better to have this content sorted by difficulty and categorized, rather than reading the latest ranting on a subject. Free Love is a beautifully comprehensive page that people will bookmark and refer back to. Every business should have web pages or sites like this. In fact, I am working on similar pages for IdeaEconomy.net that I hope to roll out soon.

More Information
Another great article is Chris Anderson’s article in Wired magazine, Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business. This is based on his book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price.
Seth Godin has a great post on content curation called: Micro magazines and a future of media.

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