Aug 24, 2016 written by John Lamerand
The Internet is a free for all. Also it isn’t. Between the two extremes is a special kind of problem that usually revolves around funding our dreams. We spend time to create equipment, lessons, strategies and to curate what others have done. To simply give all of that effort away without any concern shown for how we sustain our lives would spell a quick death for the project. And yet, when we go online we see so much out there that is free. Typically the free stuff has a hidden cost and the companies that can afford to give things away have some very deep pockets. One way to approach the desire to give without expecting anything in return is to limit how much we toss to the wind. Hopefully the seed will land in fertile ground, but there is no real guarantee that this strategy will work. How much do we give away? Should we be like Hollywood, giving away a trailer in the hope that you will pay the cinema ticket to watch the whole movie? Given that trailers run for a minute or so and movies typically run 100 times that length we would be giving 1%. Another approach is to approach the 1% of the population who have deep pockets and appeal to their patronage. We could open source some of what we have done, as littlebits has, knowing, trusting that those who want to take advantage of our work will come to us regardless. We could provide you with teaser content and ask for feedback. For two years now this is essentially what we have been doing in our local area. We have not gained financially from this, but we have grown in our understanding of what works, and where we should direct our attention in the future. Some things will be free for all. Some things won’t. Where we draw that line will be part of our discussion with you, our stakeholders.