Through the MCDM

October 13, 2009


Filed under: com597b — Tags: , , , , , , — captainchunk @ 6:59 pm
This dude understood the economics of digital information

This dude understood the economics of digital information

I have yet to read Chris Anderson’s Free, but I’m familiar with the topic. I’ve read some of Gladwell’s books and essays, been to Godin’s blog a couple of times, and the same for Cuban’s blog. It is obvious that all of these individuals are intelligent and understand the digital landscape… they just happen to disagree as to what is beyond the horizon.

The fact is I agree with all of them on some points and disagree with all of them on others. Between their arguments lies the answer to the question, “what will the economy of digital goods look like in the future?” Both Anderson and Gladwell grab some case studies that highlight their points, which is a good idea, but the fact remains that you could find a case study to highlight nearly any point on the subject. So while it was useful, the examples held little weight with me.

I appreciated Cuban’s thoughts the most. I believe he is spot on in his suggestion to look to the music industry for guidence. It has been dealing with the problem of “free” for longer than any other media industry. He says the music industry wields “free” as a weapon of commerce, and I agree with him, but I’d add that the music industry needs to take it much, much further than they have. Trent Reznor understands this better than anybody in the music business. He knows how to make money off of his fans and he knows how to give them the free stuff they want. Follow him and he will lead you to the land of business model salvation.

I believe the issue of free comes down to the simple fact that in order to make money, you have to produce something that nobody else is producing. If you can do that, you can make money. What is hard is creating that unique voice and getting people to notice. There is nothing easy about the “free” problem, but as Godin said, the world will morph to fit the solution.

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