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!

Filed Under: edinburgh, events, free, nashville, speaking, toronto

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  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 1 Mar 2009 @ 11:31am


    Derek, cost based isn't the idea.

    Then why did you make the case for cost-based pricing?

    There is a market value for music,

    Yes, and in many cases that's $0.

    The public no longer cares what it costs to make music because file sharing has lowered the value of music to absolutely nil

    Harold, I already told you that you confused price and value. Now, why would you go and do that again?

    No, what Derek showed is that the "market price" for music is often at zero, and that's just basic economics. The value of music is still quite high. If you can't understand the difference between the two, it's pretty difficult to take you serioulsy on the matter.

    It isn't a question of this beating that, they are all worthless now, with no more value than the lint in your pockets.

    Again, you are so wrong it's almost funny. The music that Trent Reznor makes has tremendous value to his fans. The music that Corey Smith makes has tremendous value to his fans. Yet, both of them give away that music for free, and are able to use that free music to create business models that pay them MILLIONS of dollars. And it's all because that music has tremendous value, but the *copies* of the *digital files* are free to give away, helping them build a bigger and BETTER business model elsewhere.

    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.

    This is also very, very wrong, and it proves how little you seem to know about these issues. The *music* business is doing better than it ever has. More people are making music than ever before in history. More people are making money from music than ever before in history. Concert revenues hit an all time high in 2008. Even *instrument* sales were at an all time high. The MUSIC INDUSTRY is doing phenomenally well. What you may have meant, though didn't say, was that the business of selling PLASTIC DISCS with recorded music on them is having trouble. That's not "the music industry" however.

    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.

    Why do you keep insisting on cost-based pricing? That's a myth. It's been exposed as a myth for ages.

    And why do you keep confusing value and price.

    What Derek is properly saying is that if the market prices (not values) your product at $0 because there's an infinite supply, then you need to change your business model -- and there are lots of good ways to do so -- where you bundle that infinite good with other scarcities that are made more valuable as more people have that infinite good.

    In other words, it's good business to price certain things at $0 because it helps all other areas of your business.

    "free" is just a way to explain away and give credence to widespread theft of products.

    Uh. Copying is not theft. You cannot be taken seriously if you really can't distinguish the two.

    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.

    Yes, that's why we point to examples of people making money by employing free as a part of their business model every week, and have done so for over a decade. You are wrong.

    You are very very wrong. Ridiculously so.

    No one ever said that "free" was the entire business model. The point is that it's a PART of the business model. You give away some stuff for free (the infinitely copyable stuff) and then you charge for the scarce stuff. It works really well.

    The fact that you seem to have your brain stop flat the second it comes across a 0 in the process is your problem. Luckily plenty of folks much smarter than you have figured out that the process continues past free, and they're making millions by recognizing that simple fact. Your inability to realize this just suggests you have problems with basic economic logic.

    Please, please, learn some economics before making a total fool of yourself.

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