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Summary:

Every time an economic bubble develops, many will tell you how “this time it’s different,” how “this time the rules have changed.” The lie of the Web 2.0 bubble is that free is the way to succeed in the new economy. That’s not true. The rules […]

no_free.gifEvery time an economic bubble develops, many will tell you how “this time it’s different,” how “this time the rules have changed.” The lie of the Web 2.0 bubble is that free is the way to succeed in the new economy. That’s not true. The rules of economics have not changed. The best way to make money in the new economy, in the Web 2.0 economy, comes down to the same fundamental business model that has always existed: create something of value for people who will pay for it.

Josh Kopelman of Redeye VC notes the penny gap:

scaling from $5 to $50 million is not the toughest part of a new venture – it’s getting your users to pay you anything at all. The biggest gap in any venture is that between a service that is free and one that costs a penny.

Then he suggests that the existence of this hard-to-cross chasm means you should look for someone other than users to pay–advertisers perhaps.

However, the reason there’s a huge gap between people paying you nothing and people paying you something is because that’s where you go from hobby to business. Between zero revenue and positive revenue lies your business model. Going from zero pay to a penny is where you’ve discovered how to make money–and that’s what businesses are about. The penny gap separates the winners from the losers, economically speaking.

VC Fred Wilson wrote in defense of free in 2005: “free is a great way to make money. You just have to know how you are going to get paid for being free.”

That’s the key to having a business: getting paid, not whether you offer free samples in the morning newspaper to convince people your shampoo smells really great.

To be fair to these VCs, they’re not advocating doing everything without pay. They’re suggesting free as a tactic towards getting paid in other ways: through advertising, or by premium services (as in a freemium model), or maybe even through being acquired by a company with a large wallet. Free is only a tactic, though, not a business model.

Conflating the two misleads web application developers into thinking they don’t need to do the hard work of figuring out what’s really of value to users before they build and launch their online service. Who loses? Users, because we have to suffer through introduction after introduction of half-baked web apps that we’re not willing to pay for with our money or our attention.

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  1. A great post…could not agree with you more.

    It is amazing that even after the Internet bust, some people still think “free” is a business model.

  2. Right on! Free has become the default model of choice for most Web 2.0 startups chasing after traffic and in turn advertising revenue. Even if at the end you decide to utilize alternative revenue streams, the goal of any startup should be to create something that users are willing to directly pay for. If you can do that, you’ve got something that that 99% of startups don’t have – a product or service that has real value.

  3. Joel Cheesman Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    Interesting. I wrote about the possible demise of the vertical job search engines today, due primarily to the lack of revenue: http://www.cheezhead.com/2007/03/13/writing-on-wall/

  4. An advertising suported bussiness model is only free to the end user and most of Google’s services are free to the user so they can sell eyeballs to the advertisers .

  5. Excellent post. 37Signals is one of the services (basecamp) that ‘hooked’ me into paying.

    As a community, however, we have to be ready and willing to pay for exceptional products. Using free as a business model, or even as a tactic, is precarious at best. I think it’s part of the reason we see such junk brought to market. You get what you pay for.

    Most applicatons are launched on 50K or less . The VCs make it worse by chasing any of this junk that gets some users behind it. There is a serious lack of innovation and technology advancements because of this. IMHO.

  6. Thanks for paying for Basecamp, Mark!

    Regarding free free free… It’s unbelievable how often people ask us “What’s the secret to monitizing your product?” The answer is simple: You charge for it.

    No one is going to pay for something unless you ask them to pay for it. I’m constantly amazed by the timid strategy of many web-based companies. They are afraid to charge for their products. That’s basically saying “what we’ve built is of little value.” When you go into it like that you’re in trouble from the start.

    So bottom-line: Build something worth paying for and charge for it. Businesses charge for their products and services. It’s a much easier road than trying to make money from advertising or a lottery-ticket buyout.

  7. Anne 2.1 » Blog Archive » The Eleventh Thing I Hate About You, Web 2.0 Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    [...] idea that free is a business model. Free is not a business model, it’s a tactic. It can be a very powerful tactic in the right hands–and with the right business model. [...]

  8. License 2 Code » GigaOM » Free: a Tactic, not a Business Model Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    [...] GigaOM » Free: a Tactic, not a Business Model [...]

  9. Jeffrey McManus Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    Great post, Anne. I’m starting to get pretty bored by people (mostly VCs) who say that my business sucks because it doesn’t leverage search. Yes, there is a ton of momentum behind search. But somehow, software products made money before search existed, and they will continue to make money long after the search pie has been sliced infinitesimally thin.

  10. Jeffery

    You are spot on – there is a ton of software products that make money by getting customers to pay for it. If you are a mac user, there is a good chance that you paid for at least two pieces of software on your machine. I just calculated – I have about nine apps that cost me between $20 and $40.

    They were free to try but buying them wasn’t hard because they solved a specific problem. I think the same logic holds for web products as well – some of the web 2.0 products need to stop free access after a little while and get people to upgrade./

  11. “Conflating the two misleads web application developers into thinking they don’t need to do the hard work of figuring out what’s really of value to users…”

    This quote highlights the Web 2.0 version of the “technician mindset” that has plagued small businesses for decades.

    In Webland people mistake 3rd party tools that monetize content as revenue models, and think they can focus purely building a product and let AdWords worry about the revenue side.

    Solving real problems with elegantly simple tools is worth money to users, and should be the path a startup chooses over one off functionality that could someday snap into Yahoo or Google.

  12. infinite dreams (alpha) » My Links of 13-03-2007 Tuesday, March 13, 2007
  13. First of all…Anne, excellent post and great comments by Jason, Om and the others.

    I agree, creating a product/service/site that is of value should be paid for accordingly. However, the dilemma that I see has more to do with a specific set of websites such as social media, community oriented sites and just simply fun applications. These ideas/apps don’t hold the weight of say an “Office” as they’re used more for leisure than productivity.

    My take is that people are less willing to pay for apps of leisure…advertising model enter stage right.

    But this doesn’t mean that advertising has to be the ONLY method of generating revenue. What products complement your app/market? What services? I think that people are a little too narrow minded when it comes to this. It seems to be that when it comes to an advertising model that it’s “All or None.”

    Why not search for a comination? Albeit not a sacrifice for a lack of focus. Most publicly traded companies get their sales/revenue from a mix of different offerings/products. LOL…you don’t see the analysts going nuts over a stock that has all of it’s business tied up in 1 product do you?

    Micah Davis
    http://foodforethought.wordpress.com

  14. Well, this must be the first drumbeat that the web 2.0 bubble has burst, eventhough the vcs have rose colored “me too” glasses on. How many more light weight FluffLications do we need in the real world.

  15. The ‘business model’ for many of these companies is to get acquired before their money runs out. If that is the ‘actual’ business objective, as opposed to the publicly stated one, then FREE is a business model because it allows them to grow more quickly.

    On a personal note, I don’t think this is sustainable or smart for the long run.

  16. Alexander Marktl Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    Jason

    You’re right with Businesse charging for their services.
    In my opionion Web 2.0 is focusing by far too much on the Consumer Internet. There’s so much value you could provide to businesses with all this Web 2.0 technology and they’re gonna pay for that stuff…

  17. I would have to agree with Joss that for the vast majority of web 2.0 outfits the business model is to get bought by Google, Yahoo, News Corp etc, and ‘free’ allows them to build up a user base quickly to make themselves a more appealing target. Those with smaller user bases hoping that google ads etc will make them rich will have a very quick and nasty surprise. But at the end of the day if you create something that fills a gap in the market or provides a new twist on an old process etc then you’ll be able to charge for it and people will pay fo it – and lets not forget there is money to be made in supporting products/services – offering upgrades etc.

  18. my take on this is that ever business should have a “free” strategy but not necessarily a free business model.

    That is, figure out how to give away as much of your product as possible, decide where the line of value is, and then charge people to cross it.

    At Second Life, we first thought that line was admittance to the world (i.e. subscription to get in). Once we realized that the line was beyond admittance but more about creation, ownership, etc, the access model became free (since there’s a low cost to each incremental casual user) with various upsells and other ways of monetizing your activity in-world.

  19. Anne, with all due respect I heartily disagree with your argument. My post on this subject is at: http://vcmike.wordpress.com/2007/03/13/can-you-build-a-business-off-free-services/.

  20. Ok. Now lets all (the non-enterprise users) pay some money for the Linux kernel.

  21. Is this it for revenue models? Charge/don’t charge, B2B, B2C, nothing more? In the world of hyper linked internet networks and the non linear relationships that have arisen, do we not have imagination enough to dream up anything more than such conventional (two dimensional) approaches to the business model?

    Perhaps Web 2.0 will bring upon a 1.0 revolution to such definite approaches to revenue streams.

  22. The Penny Gap…

    Here at First Round Capital, we see a lot of business plans for consumer-facing internet services. Most assume a significant portion of their revenue comes through advertising — but almost all of them have a premium/subscription option. Typically that…

  23. SmugBlog: Don MacAskill » Blog Archive » “You’re not free? You’re gonna die!” Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    [...] my surprise to find an article today on GigaOM entitled Free: a Tactic, Not a Business Model. Is this a sign of the Apocalypse? Is the latest bubble about to [...]

  24. Anne,

    Offering your content or service for free implies that you need to rely on an advertising based business model. If you aspire to build a big online media business (say $50m in revenues) you can do it in one of three ways:

    1. If you’re broad reach, you need to grow to be one of the top 10 websites in the US by traffic
    2. If you’re demographically targeted, you need to grow to be one of the top 25 websites in the US
    3. If you have content that attracts endemic advertisers, you need to grow to be one of the top 150 websites in the US

    Analysis and math that gets to these conclusions is at the Lightspeed Venture Partners blog (click on my name in this comment).

  25. Don MacAskill Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    Great article. Short, sweet, and to the point. I already blogged about it.

    I’m always amazed that in the middle of all of this innovative thinking going into “Web 2.0″, there’s very little thought about how to actually make money.

    Thank goodness someone’s still thinking about it. :)

  26. Don MacAskill Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    @VCMike: I posted this on your blog, but I’m lost in moderation. :(

    Since this is where the conversation is, anyway, here we go:

    Re: “in the vast majority of cases you can build a much more valuable web based business by offering a service that is free”

    Hmm. Seems like the “vast majority of cases” that are free end up as failures. Those that don’t most often end up as acquisitions.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking acquisitions – but when you get acquired because you’re running out of gas in the tank , as is the case with many free-fueled startups, that’s hardly a success. A startup in that position rarely ends up being anything more than a shadow of the potential they once had.

  27. Don – I have to thank Om for the shortness and sweetness of the post. He only gave me 400 words to say it! ;)

    Of course there are caveats to this and all sorts of detail/case studies we can get into–like the issue of open-source Linux someone brought up. Open source hackers do have a business model for what they do. Building free software raises their profile in the community and leads to paying work.

    VCMike: Google’s revenue model is not about free, it’s about advertising, so it’s not a counterexample to the argument that free is a tactic not the center of a business model. Blogger and YouTube are owned by Google. SixApart sells software and services. Hotmail is owned by Microsoft, which has mostly a license-based revenue model. I’m not sure where your examples support free as being a viable business model.

  28. Great Post!

    I couldn’t agree more, ‘free’ is a tactic not a business model but it’s amazing how many folks confuse the two.

    I am all in favor of network effects, which means the more people you can get to sign up, the more valuable your network becomes and being ‘free’ helps. But once you build your network, that’s when the ‘free’ bit ends and the real challenge begins – how are you going to make money?

    Here’s the twist in the tale that your post mentions briefly, many of the founders don’t care about making money. Most are sustained by VCs and plan to cash-out as soon as they find a buyer and there seem to be plenty of takers out there. Then, it becomes the next guy’s problem to figure out how to make money off this ‘free’ model or go bust.

    Most of the Web 2.0 companies are counting on advertising revenues to save the day, but I am leery about advertising as a sustainable revenue model and here’s my rant on that:
    http://marketingmystic.typepad.com/marketing_mystic/2007/03/clueless_market.html

    Once again, great post! Good to see someone’s looking beyond the hype.

  29. Great Post!

    I couldn’t agree more, ‘free’ is a tactic not a business model but it’s amazing how many folks confuse the two.

    I am all in favor of network effects, which means the more people you can get to sign up, the more valuable your network becomes and being ‘free’ helps. But once you build your network, that’s when the ‘free’ bit ends and the real challenge begins – how are you going to make money?

    Here’s the twist in the tale that your post mentions briefly, many of the founders don’t care about making money. Most are sustained by VCs and plan to cash-out as soon as they find a buyer and there seem to be plenty of takers out there. Then, it becomes the next guy’s problem to figure out how to make money off this ‘free’ model or go bust.

    Most of the Web 2.0 companies are counting on advertising revenues to save the day, but I am leery about advertising as a sustainable revenue model.

  30. Jeremy Pepper Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    Reminds me of the old Yiddish joke about “trust me.”

    If you look at some sites, there are sites that people go from free to pay, such as Flickr or Skype. But, are there enough services out there, or is most of the stuff out there feature-sets for other companies/sites?

  31. I don’t pay a penny to use Google search, Gmail, or Google Analytics, and the company is absolutely struggling, isn’t it?

  32. Google’s revenue model is advertising, not free services. The argument is not that you can’t use free as a way to drive revenue, but that free isn’t a substitute for an actual revenue model.

    And on a tangential note, many customers cheered when Google introduced non-free apps for your domain because it means they’re supporting it as a real service. That’s yet another nail in the coffin of free as the center of everything Web 2.0.

  33. links for 2007-03-13 – Online Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    [...] Servicios gratis: una táctica, no un modelo de negocio (tags: free business market) [...]

  34. tecosystems » links for 2007-03-14 Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    [...] GigaOM » Free: a Tactic, not a Business Model aka a loss leader: great piece by Anne (tags: lossleader economics opensource free freemium) [...]

  35. Whatever. Here’s the relevant quote:

    “To be fair to these VCs, they’re not advocating doing everything without pay. They’re suggesting free as a tactic towards getting paid in other ways: through advertising, or by premium services (as in a freemium model), or maybe even through being acquired by a company with a large wallet. Free is only a tactic, though, not a business model.”

    So, the whole article is calling the people who do free web 2.0 style stuff idiots, basically, and then this paragraph is like, ‘oh, well, to be fair, none of the stuff I’ve been saying actually applies to any of these people because they’re all really making money in other ways anyway.’

    And then all the commenters are like, ‘oh, Anne Zelenka, you’re so right, why do people still think free is a viable option!!1!’

    Next time she wants to complain about how free is not a business model, she should take a look at radio or network TV. Or, um, Google.

    She’s just playing with semantics; no one thinks free is a business model; everyone who makes free products is using it as a tactic toward ad revenue or the goal of being bought, or else they are hobbyists and have no intention of being anything else. What’s the point of this article, again?

  36. GigaOM » 2007 » March » 14 Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    [...] not advocating doing everything without pay. They’re suggesting free as a … eep on Free: a Tactic, not a Business Model Very informative ! … km4 on 700 MHz Explained in 10 Steps GigaOM | Web Worker Daily | [...]

  37. Trends in Pricing : Venture Chronicles Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    [...] This post on Gigaom was dead center in an issue I am working my way through right now. [...]

  38. I missed this post… I’ve wrote something on this subject today.

    http://lucafiligheddu.blogspot.com/2007/03/is-key.html

    “Free” is something users want, it’s a matter of facts. But you can work on models where customers and users don’t coincide.

  39. La web 2.0 y los servicios gratuitos at Tecnorantes Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    [...] árticulo en Gigaom, donde se expone que los servicios gratuitos han de ser una táctica, pero nunca el modelo de [...]

  40. Nur mein Standpunkt » links for 2007-03-15 Thursday, March 15, 2007

    [...] GigaOM » Free: a Tactic, not a Business Model (tags: Blog socialsoftware Web2.0) [...]

  41. Innovation Links – 18/03/2007 Sunday, March 18, 2007

    [...] Free is a tactic not a business model [...]

  42. “Om, my father asked me a long time ago if I was building a business, or a hobby. If they are sending in checks, you’re in business. Everything else is just having fun. If these Web 2.0 companies refuse to charge for services, how can they operate for very long?”

    MAY 2006 – My statement/question to Om at the Mesh Conference in Toronto

    Anne, on behalf of all us Web 2.0 players that focused on building businesses rather than hobbies, I thank you.

    It has been frustrating to watch the free/hobby sites get all of the attention, while real business apps such as ours have been virtually ignored for being perceived as “too small”.

    True, we don’t have 2,000,000 users buzzing all over our site every month – but we generate more profit than most W20 sites combined. Yet, along with other sites like ours, we couldn’t muster any attention from the blogosphere.

    As a result, I’ve been a vocal commentator about this imbalance ever since first meeting Om at the Mesh Conference in Toronto. I understand that some apps have to be free in order to flourish – but where is the love for those of us that took Web 2.0 tools and applied them to the real world for the purposes of acquiring real customers?

    Thanks to your post, balance is slowly on the way back. Keep up the great work.

    Best,
    George

  43. AGORACOM Blog » Blog Archive » Free: A Tactic, Not A Business Model – GigaOm Sunday, March 18, 2007

    [...] various conferences, know that this has been my mantra for some time now.  Well, the good folks at GigaOm have a great post on this very [...]

  44. Good Points but do you expect me to pay to use digg, myspace, gmail? Those sites would not be popular if they were not free. Sure you can sell featured content or premium services, but its really hard to sell things online besides ads, and merchandise. PlentyofFish.com is free and they are giving all the personal ad sites a run for their money. Craigslist only charges for certain kinds of ads.

  45. The free part really has to be the ability to try out the service fully (limitations should be the number of reps you get, BaseCamp/Flickr is an excellent example for doing it right). As for the fee, I’m a sucker for the yearly fee and extra bonus if it’ll show to others that I’m a paying member. I know, it’s sad but true. This makes a difference. No one wants to appear to be a leach! But if the fees are too high, chances are I’ll go without rather than using the service at all. Classmates.com is a perfect example of a site that appears to be just a rip off! They have too many price options, the free parts are way too limited, and with all the in your face notifications, it really feels like you’re being nickle and dimed!

  46. Pronet Advertising Monday, March 26, 2007

    How-to Write the Right Title…

    Yes it’s true, content is king. If your content is great, if your service is unparalleled and your product truly novel, nothing will stand in its way, right? Well not entirely. If you are truly to take advantage of all socially driven sites have to of…

  47. Founders Cafe » Blog Archive » Knowing how to get paid for being free Tuesday, March 27, 2007

    [...] to ensure survival before ultimately facing an empty bank account otherwise. I’ve come across a two weeks old post on GigaOm that illustrated my [...]

  48. Inventive Design | 10 syytä miksi antamalla ilmaiseksi tienaa eniten Friday, March 30, 2007

    [...] Free: a Tactic, not a Business Model [...]

  49. links for 2007-03-30 « harbour 7 Friday, March 30, 2007

    [...] GigaOM » Free: a Tactic, not a Business Model (tags: freemium content+strategy) [...]

  50. Are you kidding me! Saturday, March 31, 2007

    I could not DISAGREE with you more – Of course free is a Business Model and always will be! It’s free for me to watch the super bowl every year and I think the NFL makes a little pocket change on the given sunday. It’s free for me to use all of Google’s services i.e. search,maps,email etc. the last time I checked their stock was over $400.00

    I will give you this – free only works when you can attract tons of “eye-balls” If you have a TV show or a website that only attracts 1,000 viewers you don’t make money on the other hand if you can attract 10 million viewers you can make TONS OF MONEY

    Bobby

  51. [...] mashups, low cost infrastructure and building applications that are then offered to customers for pretty much free, backed by an ad-supported business model. Think of this as the tie-dyed-free-love hippie phase. [...]

  52. Jason Alba » JibberJobber – A Case Study In Freemium Models Friday, April 6, 2007

    [...] points to a GigaOM blog post by Anne Zelenka titled Free: A Tactic, Not A Business Model. Anne goes on to talk about the idea a little more, ending with the idea that not understanding the [...]

  53. Thanks for stating the obvious so succintly. You may have heard that startups had a brutally high failure rate even before the Internet was invented. It’s the luck of the draw, and the cause is the high risk, low revenue and low market penetration of any startup- web-focused or not.

    You spun around to contradict yourself in your penultimate paragraph, by admitting people aren’t the boneheads you imply. If you give away free content or membership in the (tactical)hope of earning revenue from advertising, that’s a business model. Whether it’s a viable one or not is another matter.

  54. Free is something most users need and want. But, if you offer a free service you have to be prepared and have plans to ask for money if ad supported model will not work anymore.

  55. Jaxtr – Free calls made better « Media,Technology,and Rebel Filmmaking Saturday, April 14, 2007

    [...] you can see already on the right) and get the same functionality. I hope that this is not another free-as-a-business-model [...]

  56. Free” Tactics – Business Model Thoughts « jobboardgawker Thursday, April 26, 2007

    [...] Written by Anne Zelenka Tuesday, March 13, 2007 at 1:00 AM PT | 56 comments [...]

  57. Lovin.mobi » Busy Week Catching Up Sunday, April 29, 2007

    [...] been reading in preparation for writing the story. The Infrastructureless Software Company Free is a tactic, not a business model. Amazon S3 AWS and your data center Monster Muck Mashup – Mass Video Conversion Using AWS [...]

  58. This is a silly article.

    “Free” is an amazing multi-billion dollar business model that has been proven time and again.

    Television is “free”. Numerous newspapers and magazines are “free”. Google is “free”.

    Eyeballs are worth an enormous amount and they always will be.

    Anne, if your point is that 1) It takes a whole lot of eyeballs… and 2) reaching critical mass is expensive (and maybe not worth that expense)… then very good — a gold star for you. And welcome to the Internet. The rest of us have understood this since Web 1.0

    To make the absurdly broad claim that it is silly to give away free content and services in an effort to gain traffic, marketshare, ad revenue and brand value — is to tell an entire multi-billion dollar industry that it’s m.o. should be re-thunk.

    Bzzzt. Wrong answer. I’ll take my somewhat modest ~$12k per month that my blog spins off and quietly continue to pursue “free” as a business model.

    Now… I’m going to scroll back up and click on some ads.

  59. Creating an Online Dating Site Part 4 » Online Dating Insider Saturday, September 8, 2007

    [...] Free is a tactic, not a business model. [...]

  60. Pronet Advertising Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    How The New York Times Got Its Groove Back

    Yesterday, The New York Times announced that it would be ending Times Select, its paid subscription services, and would refund money to those who had already paid. Today we take a look at that history of Times Select and the implications of the Times’…

  61. Not sure I really agree with you.

    While just expecting “Free” to be good enough to base a business model on is a poor idea. Free with value has worked for many styles of business.

    Google was mentioned above. I was thinking more of all the radio and tv stations, that did quite well for decades. This style of business works off the ability to gain users and then sell access to them (ads, commercials).

    Still, you need a product that draws more attention than your competitors for this to work. The internet is a tough place for this business model though. While there is a huge potential there is an endless supply of competitors looking to take your traffic.

  62. Triggit Makes Grabbing Internet Content Even Easier – GigaOM Thursday, January 17, 2008

    [...] until you ask someone to pay, you don’t really know if they’ll pay. That’s the danger of focusing on growth rather than revenue. Facebook has a slightly different model, but it’s [...]

  63. I think there are some websites out there who are making some money off people clicking on ads.

    There was a post above that stated they were making $12K a month off ads, great for them, but in the scheme of things, that is chump change. Mediocre revenue, when your a business, $12K is not going to sustain growth in your business. A number of people here have mentioned the Google and TV models… great, but are they getting the hits that these companies are? In order to get BIG revenue from ads you need to have the eyeballs and the people clicking. Google and TV have the economies of scale and the distribution networks to do this, at great cost… 12K aint going to get you that pal… if it does I will eat my computer keyboard! Keep me posted…

    I operate a site that is competing with free options. I don’t understand, in my line of work, why people would offer this type of service for free? What we do is get eye balls to people’s property, if you don’t charge for this service, firstly how do you pay for the high data costs of high traffic and secondly, how do you expose these properties to potential buyers? I know there are established sites and sites that can get good search engine results, but in the wonderful world of online media, if you don’t have the money to acquire the distribution networks, you remain a chump forever content to live the mediocre land of $12K a month with no real ambition.

    Our site is new and yes we dont have many properties on there, probably because we are not prepared to give a service away for nothing… we hope that as it matures, we will have a viable and sustainable business.

  64. Article Database » How to Write the Right Title for Digg Saturday, February 23, 2008

    [...] And lastly, the word “free” is self-explanatory. Just keep in mind that free is a tactic, not a business model. [...]

  65. Free Used To Scare Me » Expert Idiot Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    [...] Anne Zelenka [...]

  66. Eric Shannon Friday, April 11, 2008

    Look where free is taking Craigslist.org- http://internetinc.com/Craigslist-2008-revenue-to-reach-81-million

    He makes tactic or business model seems academic. It takes a bit of both…

  67. If Your Content is Profitable, You Might Have a Shot at the Free Model – Thoughts on social media, the web and technology – jungleG Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    [...] (make sure to read the comments on the post, they’re really good). Om Malik says “Free: a Tactic, not a Business Model“. Did you like this post? You may want to subscribe via the RSS feed or follow me on [...]

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