Announcing The Free! Summit... And Some Other Speaking Gigs

from the talk-talk-talk dept

As regular readers of this site know, I'm pretty passionate about how businesses need to understand the economics of "free" in figuring out how to create business models that work. So, I'm excited to announce that I'll be hosting and emceeing the newly announced Free! Summit, to be held in Silicon Valley on May 11th.

Chris Anderson (whose book on "Free" will be coming out in just a few months) will be keynoting, and we're pulling together the rest of the participants as well. The event is being produced by the fine folks from Tech Policy Central, and works as a nice lead-in to their Tech Policy Summit that will start immediately after the Free! Summit concludes. In fact, attending the Free! Summit gets you access to the opening session of the Tech Policy Summit as well. And, yes, registration to The Free! Summit is, in fact, free. But... there are a limited number of seats, so sign up now. Also, we're very much looking for individuals or organizations interested in presenting case studies on how they've used free as a part of their business model. We already have a few lined up, but feel free to suggest others of interest.

I hope that many of you can join us for what I'm sure will be a great series of discussions on "free" and what it means for business models, policy and the economy.
Separately, there are a few other events I'll be participating in that are worth mentioning:
  • First up, I'm going to be keynoting the Leadership Music Digital Summit in Nashville, Tennessee, to be held on March 23 -- March 25th, where I'll be doing an updated version of my MidemNet talk. It's yet another chance to talk with folks from in and around the music industry.


  • Next, I'm thrilled to be keynoting the Mesh Conference in Toronto, Canada, being held April 7th and 8th. I've attended Mesh the past two years, and it's a fantastic event for (as they say) connecting, sharing and inspiring around all sorts of new ideas relating to the internet, media and new business models. That talk will be a brand new one focusing on digital media business models, followed by an interview with Mathew Ingram and a Q&A. If you're in the Toronto area, don't miss it.


  • Also, the week of March 8 - 14th, I'll (once again) be in Edinburgh, Scotland, giving a whole series of talks at the University of Edinburgh. I'm not entirely sure which of the talks are public and which are for students only, but two events that I know are public are the talk I'll be giving to the Edinburgh Entrepreneurship Club on What Makes Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley on March 10th and then I'll be attending/participating at a special BarCamp Scotland on March 14th.


  • Because I'm in Scotland that week, I won't be able to attend Canadian Music Week in person in Toronto, unfortunately, but they will be showing my MidemNet talk during one of the sessions on music business models.


  • Finally, unfortunately with all the travel on my schedule, I'm going to be unable to personally attend David Isenberg's fantastic Freedom to Connect even in Washington DC on March 30th and 31st, but if you're anywhere in the area, you shouldn't miss it. It's a great event focused on "the emerging internet economy" with a strong focus on the policy angles related to internet connectivity these days. You're probably already aware of Isenberg from his regular writings on the subject, but he pulls together such a great braintrust for his events that you'd be crazy to miss it if you're in the area. And, along those lines, he's agreed to offer Techdirt readers a special $100 discount on registering for the event. Prices actually go up this Saturday, so if you want to attend, you should register now...
That's it in terms of speaking events for now. There are, of course, a few other private speaking engagements that I'm doing (if you're interested in having me speak at private events, please contact us), and some other events that are in the works... In the meantime, I hope to see you at one of these events!

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  1. identicon
    Weird Harold, 1 Mar 2009 @ 7:42am

    Derek, cost based isn't the idea. There is a market value for music, and you have exactly made my point for me: The public no longer cares what it costs to make music because file sharing has lowered the value of music to absolutely nil. I suspect that most MP3 player owners have a 1000 to 1 ratio of paid for songs versus "borrowed" material in their players. Why? Because the market has been taught that music has no value. It's "free". It isn't a question of this beating that, they are all worthless now, with no more value than the lint in your pockets.

    As for consulting and telling the "truth", well, it is your truth and not really the full truth. The reality is that in less than 10 years, music distribution has increased exponentially and the music industry is looking at adjusted revenues lower than 1991. You need to tell their clients that thier products are probably the next thing to lose value in the market, as those who have no vested interest in the products "lend" them to millions of strangers without regard for what it costs to produce them.

    "free" is just a way to explain away and give credence to widespread theft of products. It has no true business model to support itself in the long run, because "free" means that all the people producing those products are making nothing or entering into an entirely risk based process. You wouldn't have seen your Blair Witch or heard your Avril Levigne without a business process to support them. Free kills the process, so it's only a matter of time before the products suffer.

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