My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Reading Free: The Future of a Radical Price reminded me, in many ways, of The Grand Design.
To understand the universe on the quantum level, you have to embrace understandings and facts that seem ludicrous at human scales. That is, that we have free will; that things cannot be in the same place at the same time; that time progresses at one speed and forward only, are all convenient and explicit truths for our day-to-day existence. But at the subatomic level, that’s not how things work; not at all.
Anderson’s arguments about Free — that is, gratis and libre — are presented in the same sense, if not quite as well or explicitly.
Free does a fine job of explaining the mechanics of how things can be free on the Web: namely, per-unit / per-user costs are so low, they might as well be considered nothing.
He also does a good job of explaining the obvious money-making models applied successfully so far: advertising, freemium (basic service is free; premium service costs money) and non-monetary / indirect recompense, such as an increase in reputation / marketing of ancillary products, such as concerts and merchandise for musicians or speaking engagements and consultations for professionals.