Free, open source and mass collaboration.
Lately, there is a lot of talk about open source, mass collaboration and free business models. The freemium model is the meeting point of these concepts. Here is a short description on how it relates to these ideas.
A business model built around free products seems counter intuitive. Yet the idea of building a business model around just that is becoming increasingly popular.
Author of “The Long Tail” Chris Anderson is leading the pack of people trying to describe the benefits of this model. On his blog he has an excellent description of how ‘free’ works in 4 different models.
Even though this blog is called freemium and deals mainly with the freemium model, there can often be overlaps amongst the different models.
More about different kinds of free..
When I talk to people about freemium, they like to refer to it as open source economics. This is not a very accurate description.
Open source software works from the principle that the source of the program is open. This does not necessarily mean the the product in itself is free. In the open source movement, this is often described as the difference between “free as in free speech” and “free as in beer”.
Steve Bosserman has developed a great typology for the different ways this can play out.
Open and free: you can download content, software code or open designs for free.
Open and paid: you can access the code for the software or design freely, but you have to pay for the product.
Closed and free: The product is free to download, but the source code is not accessible.
Closed and paid: The classic business model, where can not access the source code and you pay for the product.
Using a freemium model, the free product can have both open and closed “source code”. The premium product that makes freemium financially sustainable can also be both closed and open.
Supporters of open source will argue that it is more important that a product is open than free, thus mainly supporting freemium when it involves open products.
Read more about this…..
Is a form of collective action that occurs when large numbers of people work independently on a single project. An example of this is wikipedia, but there are also a lot of commercial examples…..
In the book Wikinomics – How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, Don Tapscott and Anthony D Williams list four powerful new ideas that the new art and science of wikinomics is based on:
As they describe it, these roles are the basis for using the power of mass collaboration.
Freemium relates mainly to the idea of sharing. By sharing a free product/service, you are able to use the collaborative power of the mass in the form of feedback or further development. One example of this is the way many bloggers supply a free product in the form of their blogposts and receive feedback and further development on their ideas.
Read more about this…..
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