I was always concerned that the main point of the book – that you can make a successful business even though you do not charge for your product – would be too simple. I was pretty much right. The main point of the book, in fact, turns out to be “in a digital world, do not charge for your product, but find something else to charge for that is related to your product.” That idea is less revolutionary – at some point you will need an income, which means that something you do will not be free.
The book is interesting – especially when getting to the original meaning of the phrase “information wants to be free” – and is worth your time reading or listening (I downloaded the unabridged audiobook, which is read by the author.) You won’t feel that you have wasted your time, will appreciate the thought that has gone into the book – but this is not going to rattle you to your very core.
• Download the audiobook for free (direct link)
• Original Wired article: Article: Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business
• More recent Wired article: Tech Is Too Cheap to Meter: It’s Time to Manage for Abundance, Not Scarcity
• Wired UK: Free: An excerpt from Chris Anderson’s book
• Free: the first reviews are in (some debates over the ideas in the book)