Does free work?

If you don’t understand what all the hubbub is about Google Reader, RSS, free services… here are three bits to get you thinking:

The Customer Is the Product

Ryan Holiday, in Our Regressive Web:

What if someone invented a service where, instead of having to check all your important blogs, instead of having to check Twitter and Tumblr a million times a day, you could get all the updates in one place? Great idea!

Marco Arment, in Free Works:

Free is so prevalent in our industry not because everyone’s irresponsible, but because it works. … In other industries, this is called predatory pricing, and many forms of it are illegal because they’re so destructive to healthy businesses and the welfare of an economy. But the tech industry is far less regulated, younger, and faster-moving than most industries. We celebrate our ability to do things that are illegal or economically infeasible in other markets with productive-sounding words like “disruption”.