The Skimmer

Book Review: Free: The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson

Free: The Future of a Radical Price

By Chris Anderson Hyperion; 274 pages

As companies struggle to keep afloat in an age of abundance, Anderson posits a provocative solution: give your wares away gratis. An idea "as powerful as it is misunderstood," Free has become a multibillion-dollar business model tailor-made for the Internet economy. As digital-infrastructure costs approach zero, Anderson argues that Free often pays off, whether it involves giving away cell phones to hawk monthly plans or embracing piracy to spark demand for merchandise. He also explains how charging even a penny can scramble consumer psychology and sketches a blueprint...

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