Thursday, February 07, 2008

Making money when copies are free

On his blog, Kevin Kelly ponders how creators can make money now that internet distribution and piracy increasingly means that copying and distribution can be done for free.
From my study of the network economy I see roughly eight categories of intangible value that we buy when we pay for something that could be free.

In a real sense, these are eight things that are better than free. Eight uncopyable values. I call them "generatives." A generative value is a quality or attribute that must be generated, grown, cultivated, nurtured. A generative thing can not be copied, cloned, faked, replicated, counterfeited, or reproduced. It is generated uniquely, in place, over time. In the digital arena, generative qualities add value to free copies, and therefore are something that can be sold.
Kelly's eight generatives are:
  • Immediacy
  • Personalization
  • Interpretation
  • Authenticity
  • Accessibility
  • Embodiment
  • Patronage
  • Findability

The article is actually more interesting than it might sound...

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