Thursday, December 20, 2007

The best things in life are free?

Apache has for a long time had a claim that is rare (if not unique) in the software world: the best software, that is most popular, and is cheapest (i.e. free).

This form of open source is collaborative innovation, or what Eric von Hippel would call “user innovation.” But what about people who need to make money off of their IP?

There are a few good examples of valuable books available free online:

We don’t have page proofs online, but the book I helped edit Open Innovation: Researching a New Paradigm is also available free online. Compared to the $100 hardback, the double-spaced proofs are a hassle, but at $40 for the paperback (as with Rosen’s book) the paper copy may be more useful.

So while you can’t say the best things in life are free, there are a few good things in life that are.

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