Maybe You Don’t Need to Give it All Away.

Man, you have to give away so much now.

Many people have written about this recently. People have said that “free is the new price”. People have said that creatives (people who produce creative work) have to give away almost everything. People have argued that you have to give away more and more value. You have to give away more than your competitor and certainly more than your industry gave before. Books and music and art should become cheaper and cheaper. Everything should be “shared”. Do you want to compete or stand out? Give away more.

But…

Geez, folks (pundits, bloggers, consultants). Calm down and look again.

I can see why many established artists and producers chafe at the idea and mandate to give more away. I can see why an artist would expect to receive more (money, accolades, reputation) than an upstart. “I made this through mastery of craft and obsession. Why is it worth the same as the product of someone who has not obsessed as much and has not labored as long to master the craft? Why do I have to give it away?”

And…

I can think of another argument against the frenzy to devalue the product: The “race to the bottom” is never sustainable. The race to the bottom is what destroyed all PC vendor’s profits. Refusing to join the race to the bottom is what explains Apple’s record-breaking profits.

Maybe you don’t need to give your product away.

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