Wednesday, 12 August 2009


I've been slowly going through Chris Anderson's book Free: The Future of a Radical Price. There's a lot he gives you to think about and definitely a lot that relates to the Business of Learning.

There's quite a bit in the book that really resonates with me:

We can't help it: We value atoms more than bits.

Bits want to be free.

A common theme throughout the book is that people naturally understand the differences between bits and atoms. We somewhat intuitively understand that near-zero marginal cost is true for bits. Thus, they treat content delivered as bits as having less value than the equivalent atoms version.

Chris tells us:

It's time to stop treating bits like atoms and assuming the same limitations hold.

There's definitely a lot of questions raised by the book that will undoubtedly add to my thoughts around New Learning Solutions:

  • What are the versions of offerings that can have different prices?
  • Because of downward price pressure on anything that is bits and relatively undifferentiated, what are the ways that offerings can include other differentiating aspects?
  • Where can users add value back into the system?
  • What are network effects that we can leverage for greater value?
  • Where do network effects outside a single organization instance help drive value?
  • How do we effectively compete in the Attention Economy? (see Corporate Learning Long Tail and Attention Economy)

This will be fun to explore. Likely through my Free Blog and Free Webinars.

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