Better than free?

Kevin Kelly, former Wired editor, is writing a book online – the Technium.

One thing he wonders about is in a world with a giant copier machine (the internet) and in which therefore everything is essentially free, how do you generate value? In a recent article, he talks about “generatives” that make something better than free:

  1. Immediacy
  2. Personalization
  3. Interpretation
  4. Authenticity
  5. Accessibility
  6. Embodiment
  7. Patronage
  8. Findability

As I commented on his blog …

Great article.

It’s very interesting to take the 8 “generatives” as a model and put existing business through it … do they fit? do they still work? is there still profit to be made?

One thing:

I think we need to differentiate between truly free and virtually free. The “copy machine” operates because people like me buy internet access, people like you buy server space, companies like NetNation, my host, buy and offer rackspace, and companies like the telcos provision and rent lines.

Incremental cost of using them is nil or almost nil, but you and I support this invisible giant copy machine in a very real way.

Seth Godin has also picked up on this meme …