Question of the Day: Is 'Free' Killing You, Too?

‘Long Tail-Schmong Tail, Chris Anderson’s-free-will-be-the-death-of-me.’ Or some such, griped founder Hank Williams over at Silicon Alley Insider yesterday in “Free” is Killing Us–Blame The VCs”:

Venture capital has totally distorted the market. VCs are investing billions of dollars in companies with instructions to get big fast and to worry about advertising revenue later. As a result the competition is for users and not for paying customers. Unfortunately, to fix this, many more companies need to die.

Put Hank’s way, I wanna party like it’s 1999 all over again. So this prompts our

Question(s) of the Day:

* Is it good or bad that the bucks are going right out of Busine$$?

* Is it the VCs fault?

* Should ‘free’ be the future?

* Or, is Hank’s scenario better?: “With less “free” floating around, a more regular supply and demand dynamic can take hold, [and] customers will have to pay for the things that are important to them and non-quantized growth dynamics can return.”

AND * Did you get into this startup business to make money selling your product/service, or would you be content to merely make it by selling your (VC-funded, eyeball-oriented free-product hawking) company?

Tell us what you think.

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