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jerryking : embodiment   1

BETTER THAN FREE
[2.5.08] | EDGE | By Kevin Kelly.

This super-distribution system has become the foundation of our economy and wealth. The instant reduplication of data, ideas, and media underpins all the major economic sectors in our economy, particularly those involved with exports — that is, those industries where the US has a competitive advantage. Our wealth sits upon a very large device that copies promiscuously and constantly....how does one make money selling free copies?

I have an answer. The simplest way I can put it is thus:

When copies are super abundant, they become worthless.
When copies are super abundant, stuff which can't be copied becomes scarce and valuable. When copies are free, you need to sell things which can not be copied. What can't be copied?
(1) "Trust." Trust cannot be copied. You can't purchase it. Trust must be earned, over time. It cannot be downloaded. Or faked. Or counterfeited (at least for long).
(2) Immediacy
(3) Personalization
(4) Interpretation — As the old joke goes: software, free. The manual, $10,000.
(5) Authenticity — You might be able to grab a key software application for free, but even if you don't need a manual, you might like to be sure it is bug free, reliable, and warranted. You'll pay for authenticity.
(6) Accessibility — Ownership often sucks. You have to keep your things tidy, up-to-date, and in the case of digital material, backed up. And in this mobile world, you have to carry it along with you. Many people, me included, will be happy to have others tend our "possessions" by subscribing to them. We'll pay Acme Digital Warehouse to serve us any musical tune in the world, when and where we want it, as well as any movie, photo (ours or other photographers).
(7) Embodiment — At its core the digital copy is without a body. You can take a free copy of a work and throw it on a screen. But perhaps you'd like to see it in hi-res on a huge screen? Maybe in 3D? PDFs are fine, but sometimes it is delicious to have the same words printed on bright white cottony paper, bound in leather.
(8) Patronage — It is my belief that audiences WANT to pay creators. Fans like to reward artists, musicians, authors and the like with the tokens of their appreciation, because it allows them to connect. But they will only pay if it is very easy to do, a reasonable amount, and they feel certain the money will directly benefit the creators.
(9)Findability — findability is an asset that occurs at a higher level in the aggregate of many works. A zero price does not help direct attention to a work, and in fact may sometimes hinder it. But no matter what its price, a work has no value unless it is seen; unfound masterpieces are worthless. — being found is valuable.
network_effects  free  Kevin_Kelly  value_creation  digital_economy  immediacy  scarcity  personalization  abundance  findability  patronage  embodiment  accessibility  authenticity  interpretation  replication  Information_Rules  value_added  superfans  SaaS  ownership 
november 2011 by jerryking

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