Recently I commented on the "In Defense of Free" post by Fred Wilson on AVC.com. My point is that Free is not what the Economy needs. Better is needed. I welcomed those who agree to apply to be a part of our creative professional network.
Fred responded with "Good luck with that". I take that to mean he thinks that's a nice sentiment, but will not be possible.
I agree with Fred that nice sentiments - "wishes" - are not possible.
But there's a difference between wishing and dreaming.
Wishing is hoping. Dreaming is figuring out how to make it happen.
Wishing is believing something different will happen when you do the same thing that's been done before. Free ad supported only adds value to advertisers and makes money for the media owner when it reaches a lot of people in a short period of time. Wishing it will work on a small, targeted scale is hoping.
The issue isn't free vs. paid. The issue is hoping vs. figuring it out. Case in point: Netflix. Netflix charges for its service. But it hoped that when it licensed content and relied on other distribution technologies that it would achieve a different result than say Vestron which was the first to license content and distribute it through Mom & Pop video rentals, back when VCR penetration was tiny. Once the movie industry realized the value of those rights and Blockbuster put all those Mom & Pops out of business, Vestron had to change its business model completely.
Dreaming or "figuring it out" is better. And in today's very complex and competitive marketplace, no one person has the ability to figure it out alone. You need a lot of experience and an opportunity for cross-fertilization. That's what 3M and Bell Labs did and that's what's needed now.