well, when you consider how arbitrarily valued money and services are determined, doing stuff for free is just kinda going to be the natural way, unless we want to continue on a path inherently unequal because of its arbitrary value system. “The best things in life are free,” and that is true.
Originally posted on Gigaom:
Building products or services for free is a sticky subject in a variety of realms, from tech to academia to media, and it’s not likely to get any less controversial as the web keeps growing. At the MIT Sloan School of Management‘s conference on the Digital Economy in San Francisco Friday, a variety of experts talked about the rise of the digital economy and its implications for creativity and ownership on the web, in particular what happens when coders and artists put their work out for free to the public.
Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, talked about the tensions between individuals wanting to monetize their work and the broader value they can create by making their content available to everyone.
“I think there’s an area of our economy that’s really not studied enough, or it’s not thought about enough. What happens when people give things to each other without getting paid? Think about the revolution with YouTube,” he said, pointing to children choosing between a Disney cartoon or a video created by another child that was uploaded to the site. “From the point of view of a director who wants to get paid, that’s a negative thing, but from the point of view of the consumer, that’s a positive thing.”