Free: The Future of a Radical Price Summary

The SQUEEZE: Everybody wants something for free. Marketing companies today work feverishly to offer free versions of commercial products, assuming that customers will buy and encourage others to buy. For internet companies, the free pricing model is a catchall tactic used for attracting users, in turn, selling the product at a premium. This tactic is most popular for digital products and services. In Free: The Future of a Radical Price, Chris Anderson explores the strategies of companies to generate revenue by attracting customers. Anderson examines the psychology of free, how businesses must adopt newer strategies to compete with free, and the de-monetization economic model of Google. A key point Anderson makes in the book centers on the idea that if everything is free and money no longer rules, then what actually rules? This question sparks a new debate about market controls and also abundance thinking. Anderson’s Free is a must-read for small business entrepreneurs.

Notable Endorsement: “Although Chris Anderson puts forward an intriguing argument in this cheerful, optimistic book, many critics remained unconvinced. They praised his engaging writing style, his amusing examples and anecdotes, and his clear explanations of complicated concepts and technologies, but they still questioned his conclusions. In addition to Anderson's own admission that YouTube -- one of his chief examples -- has been a financial black hole for Google, reviewers cited their own examples of industries that seem to run counter to Free's generalizations, such as broadcast television's fiscal struggles in the face of premium cable's expansion. Though some trends seem to point in the direction of Free, the jury remains out for the present.” –Bookmarks Magazine

Common Q’s Answered by this Book:

  • What is the definition of “free”?
  • What are examples of traditional pricing models?
  • What are some examples of strategies used to attract users?
  • What is de-monetization?
  • What is the battle of free webmail?
  • What is freeconomics?
  • What are the 10 principles to abundance thinking?
  • What are examples of 50 business models run on free?


About the Author: An American author, Chris Anderson was the editor-in-chief of Wired from 2001 to 2012. Before joining the magazine, Anderson served as a writer for The Economist. Anderson is the author of a popular article titled The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More (2006). Anderson is the co-founder of a robotic manufacturing company named 3D Robotics. Anderson completed a degree program in physics at George Washington University and studied quantum mechanics and science journalism at the University of California at Berkeley. For more information, visit: For a notable review (critique) by Malcolm Gladwell, visit The New Yorker website:


Book Vitals:

Publisher: Hyperion (July 2009)

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