The Fragility of Free

Ben Brooks writes:

The fragility of free is a catchy term that describes what happens when the free money runs out. Or — perhaps more accurately — when the investors/founders/venture capitalists run out of cash, or patience, or both. Because at some point Twitter and all other companies have to make the move from ‘charity’ to ‘business’ — or, put another way, they have to make the move from spending tons of money to making slightly more money than they spend. Kyle Baxter wrote a follow-up to Ben Brooks' article: Twitter’s value lies in it being a communication utility, where anyone and everyone can quickly communicate information. That’s incredibly powerful, and it simply couldn’t exist if it wasn’t a free service. This doesn’t mean the strategy Twitter pursued is correct; rather, it means their error was in being so cavalier about a business model. They assumed if they reached a critical mass of users, turning it into a profitable business would be easy—and they’ve discovered that isn’t really true. It takes just as much thinking as building the actual product does. Read the first article, and then the second one. Done? Good. You may now resume your normal #dickbar bitching.