Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Free: The Future of a Radical Price” as Want to Read:
Free: The Future of a Radical Price
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Free: The Future of a Radical Price

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  12,700 Ratings  ·  618 Reviews
Download this book for free directly from the author! Just click on the the link above.
Published July 7th 2009 (first published 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Free, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Dec 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Goodreads says that I'm "finished with Free", but I disagree. I love Free, and while listening to this audiobook (which was free), I was surprised by how much Free I'd taken advantage of in my life without even giving it a thought.

Chris Anderson says that my generation inherently understands (and to a point, expects) Free, and I'm proof of that. Hotmail, Yahoo!, Google, oh my! The internet is like the Free capital of the universe. I've never given a single thought to how these companies could g
Jul 08, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I won a free copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads.

Free is a pretty comprehensive overview of the free business model. Anderson first outlines the history of free, the economic and psychological reasons behind free, the reason that free can exist in today's digital world, and the ways it differs from so-called "20th century free."

Anderson's points are well made, complete, and interesting to read. However, I do believe that he ignores and/or understates the full implications o
Dec 06, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Business analysts, product developers, people who like to point & laugh at new economy b.s.
In Free: The Future of a Radical Price Anderson insists that the way to profit online is to give products away. Of course, the intent of such a proclamation is to startle people unfamiliar with online dynamics -- which makes you wonder what tiny portion of his audience is actually startled. Even people from established industries such as newspapers and network television already know that their products only *appeared* to be free or nearly free to the consuming public. Their product certainly di ...more
Otis Chandler
Jun 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, nonfiction
A business classic that everyone should read. Explains 20th century and 21st century economics from a big picture perspective. The basic thesis is that while in the physical world (atoms), products have cost and thus companies can afford to give away small amounts of free samples (5%), or give away cheaper loss-leader related products in order to maintain profits. In the digital world things are reversed as products have little to no marginal cost and companies can afford to give away 95% of the ...more
Ben Babcock
At the beginning of Free, Chris Anderson presents a generalized dichotomy toward "Free." Some—mostly the older users—are suspicious of Free and insist they will have to pay somewhere down the line. Many younger users, on the other hand, think that Free, on the Internet at least, is a truism. Anderson says his goal is to convince us that neither camp has it completely right and that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

This is an attitude that we can apply to the Internet in general. As newspap
Jim Fonseca
Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We've heard that information wants to be free. We're all for it as long as we are on the receiving rather than the giving end. The value of Chris Anderson's work is in showing us exactly how "free" can work. It turns out it's not a new idea: think radio and television in the days of antennas. Most Google services are free (paid for by ads). On-line textbooks can be free by selling add-ons such as the right to print chapters, study guides, audio summaries of chapters, downloads to electronic book ...more
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
من أمتع الكتب التي قرأتها مؤخرًا، يتناول المؤلف مفهوم المجانية، كيف استخدم قديمًا في الترويج للمنتجات (من أبرز أمثلة ذلك العينات المجانية من أي منتج)، إلى أن وصل أن قامت عليه مباحث جديدة في علوم الاقتصاد Freeconomics وبنيت عليه كبرى شركات العالم التي تقدم جل خدماتها مجانًا مثل جوجل وفيسبوك ..الخ، وضرب فيه أمثلة غريبة على استخدام المجانية لدر أرباح مهولة، وعرج على المنظور السيكولوجي لتقبل النفس لمفهوم المجانية ورد فعلها تجاهه.
وكيف أن استخدام المجانية صار حتميًا في حالات تنافس تجارية عديدة.
Javier Celaya
A su favor es que es un libro entretenido, que se lee muy rápidamente, y que pone encima de la mesa un necesario debate sobre cómo las empresas deben empezar a redefinir sus modelos de negocio ante la inmensidad de contenidos libres y gratuitos que están disponibles en la Red.

En su contra, creo que es un libro con algunas contradicciones sorprendentes y demasiadas simplificaciones a la hora de argumentar y defender el modelo de gratuidad de los contenidos en Internet. Estas contradicciones hace
Jeremy Dooley
Hey, Chris Anderson, the stuff in your house "wants to be free" too, but I'm betting you lock your door so people (we call them thieves, no matter how many of them there are) don't take your stuff.

This book starts off well, and delves into some interesting anecdotal items, detailing some innovations in business models that are intriguing and worthy of exploration.

However, in the last hour, Chris climbs onto his ideological soapbox. Like all elites, he feels he can preach at us about how all inte
Sep 08, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this book primarily because it was, well, free, and because Chris Anderson is a well known author due to The Long Tail (which I never read but heard a lot about). In the introduction he describes how as he researched the book he encountered two different reactions to it - the younger crowd (under-30 I think it was) thought that the ideas were basically self-evident while the older crowd thought that there was no such thing as free and that there is no way you could build a business model ...more
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book and even a better price... Free! Chris Anderson does a great job explaining multiple ways to make money by giving away products/services for free. He does an even better job explaining the difference between giving it away and charging $0.01.

While reading this book, I came up with several ideas to give away products & services and hopefully increase market share and profits. Unfortunately, due to conventional thinking, pulling the trigger on these ideas may be tough. However, I w
Emily Ross
This was a pretty good book detailing a business method to increase profits; as much of an oxymoron as it seems, to increase business profits, give some products away for free (but only small amounts or some loss making products). This was obviously an example, as this audiobook was free on Audible.
That being said, this is a well known tactic so devoting an entire book to explaining it seemed pretty pointless.
Great Book !! I love the way that he explained things by using the concept of economics.
Sarah Harris
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the most interesting books I have read in a while that makes one consider advantages in marketability. I appreciated the historical references and have enjoyed telling people about these stories, especially Jello. Definitely a must-read.
Jun 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Gratis è uno dei manuali fondamentali per muoversi nell'economia del prossimo decennio e va letto assolutamente. Perché il tema del libro non riguarda le strategie di prezzo (insomma una questione per addetti di marketing), ma le leggi economiche: che nella cosiddetta economia digitale sono quelle di sempre... o quasi, salvo qualche dettaglio. In poche parole: il valore non si crea e non si distrugge, si sposta. Si sposta dalle aree dove c'è abbondanza (e quindi i beni di cui abbiamo abbondante ...more
Nelson Ramos
Encontro-me nos laboratórios informáticos da UAB enquanto escrevo este post. Digo isto, porque pela primeira vez me apercebi que os teclados dos computadores sao diferentes dos que estou habituado a utilizar em Portugal. Por essa razão, nas palavras nao vão aparecer quais queres acentos gramaticais. Isto vai tornar a leitura um pouco difícil para aqueles que lerem este post.
A razão do mesmo é um livro que acabei de ler nos dias transactos. O autor é Chris Anderson, já conhecido por outro livro:
May 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Posted on my book blog.

I bought this book hoping it would help me understand a little better the economics of the internet world. There's no doubt that the internet was built around the concept of Free, but like with every other topic I'm interested in, I missed reading a systematic study about what (if anything) had changed, and how. This book does a decent job at it, but it wasn't perfect.

It gives a historical account of Free, the different meanings it can have, and how people react to it. It
The great clash documented in this book is between the atom economy, which is in the business of selling stuff, such as food, clothing, cars, CDs and the byte economy, which is the business of selling knowledge, image, access and convenience through products that have no physical presence.

As a late-stage baby boomer myself, I have had my own difficulties wrapping my brain around ways of thinking that come naturally to the generation that has never known a non-digital world. How to proceed with
Pascal Lapointe
Ça me fascine de voir comment les idées les plus simplistes peuvent être transformées en des livres qui ont les apparences d’une recherche rigoureuse et abordant tous les aspects du problème, alors qu’ils passent 240 pages à éluder le principal aspect du problème. L’idée, ici : la gratuité. Chris Anderson, mieux connu pour une idée simple, The Long Tail, à partir de laquelle il a tissé une longue traîne de conférences et de revenus pour lui-même, tente la même chose avec Free, mais sa démonstrat ...more
Jul 10, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I'm almost finished with the book (note: the free Kindle version seems to have a lot of typographical errors) and have highlighted some of the thought-provoking quotes. FREE: The Future of a Radical Price It's a bit stodgy and slow to read -- however, the author writes about behavorial economics as it relates to "free" and I think that big business would find this book compelling.
Only thirty-two of the Top 100 companies today make things you can hold, from aerospace and motor vehicles to chemica
May 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book examines the free economy, focusing on the changes to business and society caused by the ease and availability of free digital services and products. For a topic that might seem like it might be dry, it's explored in a very interesting way in this book.

The book starts by discussing free products and services that have been around for a long time, such as "buy one get one free" deals at stores. The author discusses the psychology of receiving things for free -- a topic that is fascinati
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was not exactly what I expected it to be, but I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless. This is a look back at how "free" has played into so many markets over the years and where it may take us from here. Not really a "how to" book, but more of a history of the free price point.

There is good coverage of the different meanings of "free", including buy-one-get-one-free, free with purchase, free basic versions that have paid premium versions, and many others. There is great information about how o
Jul 17, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to Chris Anderson narrate this book for free (he made the MP3s available on his website), which made my commutes fly by. And I guess I'm proving him right by writing this review, but I can't help notice that I'm not buying a copy of his book now, whereas I otherwise would have. But Anderson's larger point is that digital goods inexorably fall to free, so it's time to get over it and use it to your advantage. As in The Long Tail, he does a good job of laying out the phenomena, explaini ...more
Majid Alfifi
Mar 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author talks about free business models and how they work such as Google free services that make money from ads. I would suppose the book will be very useful to those who want to make start-ups as it should enlighten them of what business model they should follow. It's also useful but to a lesser extent to those who just want to know how several so-called "free" services make money. Some of the author's sayings I still remember :) (every new abundance makes a new scarcity) so a business mode ...more
Aug 04, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Doesn't seem to say anything I haven't already read on Wikipedia and various news stories/blog posts. This book doesn't contain any special knowledge from the author and appears to be completely sourced from the internet. The free research part part goes along with his thesis I suppose, but it also means that this book is something anybody who spends a lot of time online could have produced today, given an editor and 40 hours a week to work on it.

If you like reading blogs and wished you could re
Jan 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely the best book I have read in a LONG time! I didn't want it to end!

Unless you have been living in a cave for the past two decades, you are well aware that the business models of several different industries have gone through a dramatic change. Chris goes into detail and presents it in a very interesting way. Not just the ones we have heard the most about, like how music piracy has decimated the music labels income or how Craigslist has taken over the newspaper's classified ad
Nov 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
A nice coda to The Long Tail. Chris Anderson is a journalist, publisher, and someone who can write about economics for a public audience.

I happen to drink the Kool-Aide connected to information abundance and how so much of the existing information distribution business is being disrupted by digital media and I think Anderson makes a very strong very accessible case that this is happening.

He's more accessible than Benkler. Even more so that Shirky or Weinberger, but he does so without sacrificing
Oct 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read about the economics of free. It covers the history of free in the "atom" realm and how it is different in the "digital" realm where zero marginal cost reigns and resource are abundant and often "too cheap to meter". It has plenty of examples of the different strategies companies have used to be successful and make a profit even when giving away products for free or competing with free products. There is even a catalog in the back listing all the free business models the author disco ...more
Христо Блажев
Крис Андерсън описва как “Безплатното” променя света

“Безплатното не е сребърен куршум. Подаряването само по себе си няма да те направи богат. Трябва да помислиш творчески как да превърнеш репутацията и вниманието, които получаваш от безплатното, в пари. Всеки човек и всеки проект ще изисква различен отговор на това предизвикателство, а понякога нещата изобщо няма да се получат. Това е като всичко друго в живота - загадка е само защо хората обвиняват безпла
Nura Yusof
Jul 25, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not even half way through and already I think the book's too long.

As with The Long Tail, he's taken what would have been sufficient as an article or blog post and expanded it ad nauseam into a book!

Fine. He makes a good case for free. But here's the thing. By making things "free", it's making consumers wonder, "Okay, what's the catch?". Coz' seriously, no one wants to give up anything for free. Something's got to give.

The problem here is consumers are left to figure out what. And some times
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business
  • The Cluetrain Manifesto
  • Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
  • Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations
  • Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies
  • Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competit ion
  • Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone.
  • Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy
  • Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing Out of Sync?
  • Viral Loop
  • Curation Nation: How to Win in a World Where Consumers Are Creators
  • The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
  • Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability & Science of Customer Centricity [With CDROM]
  • What Would Google Do?
  • The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It
  • The Big Moo: Stop Trying to Be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable
  • The Thank You Economy
  • Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust
Chris Anderson was named in April 2007 to the "Time 100," the newsmagazine's list of the 100 men and women whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world. He is Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine, a position he took in 2001, and he has led the magazine to six National Magazine Award nominations, winning the prestigious top prize for General Excellence in 2005 and 2007. He is the aut ...more
More about Chris Anderson...

Nonfiction Deals

  • Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival
    $8.24 $1.99
  • A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf
    $27.00 $2.99
  • Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
    $8.99 $1.99
  • A Room of One's Own
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Ashley's War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Life in a Medieval City
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Forged a New Afghanistan
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Too Close to Me: The Middle-Aged Consequences of Revealing A Child Called "It"
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England's Most Notorious Queen
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Inside the Criminal Mind: Revised and Updated Edition
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
    $13.99 $2.99
  • How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir
    $11.49 $1.99
  • Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Heart of Christianity
    $9.74 $1.99
  • Hidden Figures
    $4.09 $1.99
  • Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man
    $7.24 $1.99
  • K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Art of Living: The Classical Mannual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness
    $10.49 $1.99
“But our tendency to give scarcity more attention than abundance has caused us to ignore the many examples of abundance that have arisen in our own lifetime, like corn, for starters. The problem is that once something becomes abundant, we tend to ignore it,” 0 likes
“But when you want to mark a number on an abacus, what do you do if there are no stones in a column? The number 60 is one wedge in the sixties column and no wedges in the ones column. How do you write “no wedges”? The Babylonians needed a placeholder that represented nothing. They had to, in effect, invent zero. And so they created a new character, with no value, to signify an empty column. They denoted it with two slanted wedges.” 0 likes
More quotes…