I ran across this article, "BETTER THAN FREE" by Kevin Kelly.
"This super-distribution system has become the foundation of our economy and wealth. The instant reduplication of data, ideas, and media underpins all the major economic sectors in our economy, particularly those involved with exports — that is, those industries where the US has a competitive advantage. Our wealth sits upon a very large device that copies promiscuously and constantly.
Yet the previous round of wealth in this economy was built on selling precious copies, so the free flow of free copies tends to undermine the established order. If reproductions of our best efforts are free, how can we keep going? To put it simply, how does one make money selling free copies?"
So, how does one make money in a 'free' economy? This question has baffled me for years now. Information is power" but how is that so when it is free? Example: we use to teach classes in photography, Photoshop and Lightroom, but now you can watch on YouTube, where would-be amateurs just give the information away. True, there are some that are still willing to pay for classes, mainly because they like the one-on-one help and attention, but they are getting to be fewer and fewer. Our our sells have decreased. We could not longer compete with 'Free' information.
Another quote in this article that I found intriguing was: "It is my belief that audiences WANT to pay creators. Fans like to reward artists, musicians, authors and the like with the tokens of their appreciation, because it allows them to connect. But they will only pay if it is very easy to do, a reasonable amount, and they feel certain the money will directly benefit the creators."
I would have to say that I agree with him, yet I am unclear on this since I believe that today's younger generation expect things to be shared. After all they grew up in the 'let's share' anything online era.
Kevin Kelly ends his article with the following:
"These eight qualities require a new skill set. Success in the free-copy world is not derived from the skills of distribution since the Great Copy Machine in the Sky takes care of that. Nor are legal skills surrounding Intellectual Property and Copyright very useful anymore. Nor are the skills of hoarding and scarcity. Rather, these new eight generatives demand an understanding of how abundance breeds a sharing mindset, how generosity is a business model, how vital it has become to cultivate and nurture qualities that can't be replicated with a click of the mouse.
In short, the money in this networked economy does not follow the path of the copies. Rather it follows the path of attention, and attention has its own circuits."
As our world becomes more digital, as it changes to this new form of sharing information, it will be interesting to see the creative applications that businesses will have to create in order to survive.
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