Is Everything Becoming A Service?

from the products-into-services... dept

For a long time now I've been a big believer that there are no digital goods. If you want to sell a digital good, you actually need to sell a service (basically, the ability to provide the good in the future), or you're going to get forced to give it away for free. It's not hard to work into the basic economics of how that works. However, Paul Saffo is taking that idea and going even further with it, suggesting that all phsyical goods will be sold as services as well. He points out that it's already starting to happen with mobile phones: without a service contract they're just paperweights. However, he can't believe service providers haven't figured out that they should be giving out the phones for free to encourage more service usage. He says other physical goods will follow the same pattern. He even predicts that you may get your car for free, but you'll have to pay for the service to make it run - such as alerting you that it's time for an oil change, and telling you that the nearest garage is ready and waiting for you.
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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2004 @ 6:59am

    No Subject Given

    Well, as far as things go, the cell phones basically are free ... at least the low end models ... which are fairly feature rich ... and at least free for the initial sign up. They have figured it out but will still try to skim money on the higher priced phones ... sometimes a two year commitment simply won't cover the cost of an camera/palm/mp3/phone hybrid.

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