Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Edge: BETTER THAN FREE By Kevin Kelly

When copies are free, you need to sell things which can not be copied.

Well, what can't be copied?

There are a number of qualities that can't be copied. Consider "trust." Trust cannot be copied. You can't purchase it. Trust must be earned, over time. It cannot be downloaded. Or faked. Or counterfeited (at least for long). If everything else is equal, you'll always prefer to deal with someone you can trust. So trust is an intangible that has increasing value in a copy saturated world.

There are a number of other qualities similar to trust that are difficult to copy, and thus become valuable in this network economy. I think the best way to examine them is not from the eye of the producer, manufacturer, or creator, but from the eye of the user. We can start with a simple user question: why would we ever pay for anything that we could get for free? When anyone buys a version of something they could get for free, what are they purchasing?

Kelly goes on to describe eight qualities that are better then free as the basis for future revenue models. With the internet as the ultimate copy machine, the following generatives will continue to add value to this super distribution network:

  • Immediacy
  • Personalization
  • Interpretation
  • Authenticity
  • Accessibility
  • Embodiment
  • Patronage
  • Findability

He goes on to propose that money doesn't follow the copies, it follows the path of attention, a Twitterfied notion.

The writing provides some interesting ideas at the intersection of free.

Posted via web from Intersectable

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