Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How Do I Compete with Free?

Chapter 16 in Chris Anderson's book Free talks about myths about Free. One myth is that you can't compete with Free.

The way to compete with Free is to move past the abundance to fine the adjacent scarcity. If software is free, sell support. If phone calls are free, sell distant labor and talent that can be reached by those free calls (the Indian outsourcing model in a nutshell). If your skills are being turned into a commodity that can be done by software (hello, travel agents, stock brokers, and realtors), then move upstream to more complicated problems that still require the human touch. Not only can you compete with Free in that instance, but the people who need these custom solutions are often the ones most willing to pay highly for them.

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