Help define "open business"

By Howard Rheingold, published at 10 May 2007 - 8:12pm, last updated 11 years 13 weeks ago.

(Via boingboing)

Help define "open business:"

We started Openbusiness to share knowledge about business models that give a substantial portion of their main product away for free. By “free” we meant free as in “freedom” and also as in “free beer”, paraphrasing Richard Stallman’s famous illustration of the difference between “freed” from restrictions of intellectual property law and a product which literally costs nothing.

So far Openbusiness.cc has, however, also found a wide range of businesses who literally give something away for free. Free then can mean not only making a song, book, movie or service available for zero cost, but also that the product is “freed” by attaching a Creative Commons license.

In contrast to closed business models, which prefer to lock content away, on the internet business models that encourage and facilitate sharing thrive. For example, some record labels enable sharing of their recording, and only charge for high quality versions of songs. In other examples, so called web 2.0 services such as Flickr, offer free platforms for sharing of pictures, and by giving so much for free create vast networks, communities and platforms with an intrinsic value, offering numerous opportunities to create revenue.

Putting it into one sentence for an unusual business advice: The more you give, the more you get! Giving away lots makes sense, because only then people will use your content, see you, recognize you. This is why Creative Commons now looks like a rationale option for many artists, content creators, authors, photographers or even established media businesses.