An interesting experiment (giving the book away for free in all but its dead tree form) and also an interesting book. In many ways an extension of the concepts explored in The Long Tail, Anderson continues to explore the ramifications of digital products. Instead of focusing on the effects of near-infinite stockrooms, this time he deals with how companies can survive (and thrive) on a business model based on giving large portions of their “goods” and services away for free.
While the topic was interesting, and Anderson’s writing style engaging, I felt let down by the lack of depth in the analyses. I felt that certain topics could have been more rigorously probed, and that only the surfaces were scratched.
Moreover, I was annoyed by the seeming lack of attention paid to details in the book – there were a number of instances where ratios were inverted, quantities miscalculated, and other errors made. Most glaring, Anderson calling Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book” “The Graveyard”. Most of these mistakes were small, but I found they accumulated, causing me to lose a little of my enjoyment.