Chris Anderson doesn’t own FREE: ADAM NEATE TO LEAVE 1,000 PIECES OF FREE ART ON THE STREETS TONIGHT

Adam Neate

According to Chris Anderson, the idea of “feeconomics” is not a new one; making money by giving something away has been going on for some time. Chris Anderson is one of my favorite speakers. I had the exalt and the pain of following Anderson at an Infopresse conference last year. At the time, he was on his book tour for The Long Tail based on his 2004 articulation of how technology enabled infinite shelf space and make niche markets viable. His article shook up business thinking in a lot media & entertainment boardrooms.

In January 2008, Anderson wrote the thought provoking article Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business. In it, he explains that the new model of “free” is not based on a cross-subsidy or the shifting of say a “free” mobile phone in exchange for a 3-year contract. But because the cost of products is falling so fast, brands can offer “free” for free and charge for stuff that costs them money. “Once a marketing gimmick, free has emerged as a full-fledged economy.”

Has Anderson picked up on an idea or are we all monkey typing on our laptop keyboards? Years ago, when Adam Neate was starting out as a software developer come artist, he left about 6,000 paintings on cardboard on the streets of London. Today his paintings sell for tens of thousands of dollars but as I write this, Neate and his band of friends and collaborators are leaving 10,000 of his paintings in all 32 of London’s boroughs. Free culture, free art, free internet – a world wide Web.

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