Free Lunch, Anyone?By Steffen • Mar 4th, 2010 • Category: 26th Story, Business
On the first day of 9th grade, my son came home to tell me about his Global class. The teacher had held up a dollar bill and asked the kids what it was. One said “money,” another said “a dollar,” etc. The teacher went on to explain that it was in fact just a piece of paper, and that the faith people put in that paper is what gives it value. That story blew my son away (and me too, in fact).
Cut to this week when I have been asked for more FREE things than I ever remember. In one week, I received the following requests:
- Dozens of people (media, bloggers, and everyday ordinary folk) have asked for FREE tickets to a conference we’re hosting (And by the way, this conference business is supposed to be a revenue source because everyone wants their books for FREE these days. Turns out they want conferences for free too.).
- A TV Show wants 140 FREE books for the audience members. This seems to be a standard request these days. I’ve never quite understood how the author and publisher benefit from this, but it is practically expected.
- A blogger asked me for 100 copies of an author’s book for FREE to give away to his readers. He was writing a review. After much deliberation and hesitation, I agreed to 50 copies, which still seemed extreme to me.
At first I was appalled, and then I realized that maybe this is The Economics of Integrity…and maybe I should be going back to these requesters and making my own counter-requests…and maybe this is how the new economy works.