Just had a very entertaining discussion on Twitter with my colleague Rick Mans about the definition of Cloud Computing: whether the pay-per-use model is an essential part of this cloud thingy yes or no. Rick ended with a nice reply:
twitter_free.jpg
I know I’m taking it now a bit out of its original context (but that is also as a punishment to Rick for his hideous background :-p) but I’d like to disagree with that. “Free” sure is a business model and you can get incredibly rich by adopting it…
Whether you can or cannot enjoy Monty Python is just a matter of taste, but if you do, go check the Monty Python channel on YouTube to check some content. With 74.000 subscribers and 1.7 million channel views you’d probably think that it eats away of the Monty Python DVD sales. Why pay for it if you can see a lot of it for free on the internet?
An article on /film tells a different story: sales of Monty Python DVD’s raised with 23.000 % and reached the number 2 spot on Amazon’s best selling list!
I beg your pardon? How is it possible that even by giving away everything for free, you still generate loads of sales? Apparently by triggering the interest of people, by letting them savor the high quality of their productions, by treating the consumer with respect (I’m sick and tired of reading that piracy is a crime when I am in a movie theater, I paid for the ticked damned!) and by putting links to an online store where you can buy their DVD’s, they did the trick.
Just wondering how this could be applied to the software business…

Lee Provoost is an emerging technologist with a focus on cloud computing strategy and ERP+ lead at Capgemini. You can follow his ongoing stream of thoughts on Twitter http://twitter.com/leeprovoost.