Free != Free

What’s the difference between Gmail and Wikipedia? Both are very good free products, but Gmail is a for profit venture by a for profit firm. No one is making money off of Wikipedia, and yet its quality is similar to that of the best encyclopedias. Why are people putting out such high quality product for no (monetary) compensation?

Are Economists going to have to pick a new motto? Maybe we can talk about it over lunch.

Hat tip: Chris Anderson on Econtalk


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One Response to “Free != Free”

  1. The Tinsmith Says:

    As Tyler Cowen puts it “we are not always motivated by money”. Google is a company of IT nerds and immigrant prodigies motivated by perfection.

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