What Is The Future of Business? Chris Anderson says It’s Free!

by Brooke Ferguson on October 7, 2011

“In Serving Each Other, We Become Free.” – King Arthur

Every so often I come across a Gem of knowledge and inspiration and here is one I want to pass on to you:  FREE.

What is the Future of Business?

I’m a big fan of economics, especially online economics—not just because this is my field—because this emerging field has completely changed the way that business is being done.  And, with any emerging marketplace, there are changes, adaptations, and trends that we need to understand to stay educated.

Scarcity vs. Abundance

There are lots of major takeaways from this book, so much so that I’ve dedicated an entire video to it in my online consulting course.  But one of the major takeaways that I would like to share with you today is that our marketplace is changing radically.

We are going from a limited marketplace where demand sets the pace for supply.  This means that depending on resources (in stock in a store) and production (the rate of manufacturing) that the economy could be one of scarcity or one of abundance.

But, now that we are moving from a hold-in-your-hand material based product to selling things online that are in bits (or bytes).  This is one of the main concepts that Chris Anderson wisely points out in his book.  Many of the things that are selling online now are information or software based products that can be easily reproduced and shared.

Therefore, the online marketplace is quickly becoming a market of total abundance.  Go ahead and get FREE for free here.

Selling bytes is different than selling tangible material goods.

  • First of all, bytes can be created once, and distributed many times over.
  • Secondly, they can be shared.  (People love to share.)
  • Third, distribution costs tend to be a fraction of the cost because things like bandwidth and storage are always diminishing.
  • And, lastly, most people in an online marketplace have come to expect, love, and cherish FREE.

We are so used to free services online with free search engines like Google, free email, free storage, and free sites where we can download or share—that it makes for an interesting question:

How do you sell anything in a Free Marketplace?

This has actually been a conundrum of mine for years.  First off, I don’t enjoy selling.  I would rather have people come to their own conclusions that they need / want a particular product, and buy it.  Secondly, so much out there is based on Free that it seems like the next guy is always giving it away for nothing, or near nothing, so it is difficult to even find a price point in on online marketplace.

But, Anderson points out two very vital points in his book:

  1. People need good information

  2. People will pay for your time

Therefore, we should…

  • Provide Valuable Tools & Information – in Abundance – for Free.
  • & Provide Personalized Information – Something Scarce – at a higher dollar amount.

How Can You Transform the World with Free?

If you are keeping up with the global economy, you will already know that China is dominating many markets.  This is because they mass produce items and sell them for next to nothing.  In the online business models, you can produce something once, and reproduce it for next to nothing, or, for Free.  In essence, once something is created once, there is no further cost involved.  This is the case with eBooks, Video Courses, Membership sites, iBooks, and Apps.

My biggest motivation in this book was coming to the realization that I can make the world a better place by offering more things for free.

Consider your current business model.  How could you further promote your products or services by offering something for free?  What advice can you give to others for free?

How can you enhance your current/ future business model by including some of the concepts gained in this book?

If you haven’t downloaded it already, do it now, get FREE for free here.

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  • Isloooboy

    I love to learn but of course being a poor country National love most of the time free resources. Although I am unable to earn a real money online but still I believe on hard work and passions for my upcoming success. Wish I can learn some real knowledge from your this course.

    • Anonymous

      There are loads of great free tips on my site here, and things you can use straight away from the eBook I just sent you, too :) Wishing you the best on your online adventures!!

      • Isloooboy

        Thanks for sharing such a nice gift absolutely free :D

        • http://www.businessbackpacker.com Brooke Ferguson

          You are very welcome! Enjoy!!

  • http://www.4hours1000places.com Raffael Schulz

    I haven’t gotten around to reading the ebook yet, but I will. It sounds interesting.
    Although ebooks and digital products can be easily reproduced, I’ve seen many internet marketers to create a scarcity by only selling a limited number of copies before taking them off the market for a while. This is a very good tactic to get people to buy now.
    I have also seen many more that created a false impression of scarcity by telling the potential customers that their product will only be available for another few hours. Although this scarcity works, I think that everyone should either stand by their word and take the product off the market for a while or not work with the scarcity thing at all. It really takes away all credibility when you say that you won’t sell it after two days and three days later the product is still available.

    So there are ways of working with scarcity in an abundance market, but when you do, you have to do it right.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Raffael,
      I agree with you. I think it is a good idea to run promotions, but it is a better idea to keep valid information live and available for use! I really like the idea of making offers that support abundance – and this book was key in helping me to shift my mindset around that. Thanks for the comment!

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