Jake Forbes's Reviews > Free: The Future of a Radical Price

Free by Chris Anderson
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Aug 12, 09

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Read in July, 2009

I happened to stop by an internet café the day this came out so I downloaded it to my Kindle for, well, free. (It isn’t anymore). Much has been made of Anderson’s shoddy researching and citing, but that’s not enough to invalidate its value as a starting place for discussion and reflection. As a writer, I found Anderson’s approach to creator profitability to be a little dismal; when he does cite success stories in the creative world it’s almost always giants of their field, like Radiohead or Neil Gaiman. Sure, they can bank on their popularity to sell premium products and live experiences while giving content away, but the book never really suggests how the other 99% can succeed, except to say, adapt or die and that there’s a glut of content. I think that’s why I ultimately enjoyed the book, though – there are anecdotal success stories, but mostly it’s a cheap kick to the junk delivered with an optimist’s smile, like the best WIRED content.
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