Anderson, Economics & the Lightbulb

Chris Anderson is so popular right now. As I read Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business again I generally get what he’s trying to sell. His concept is cool, that we have “trends driving the spread of free business models across the economy.”  We’re faced with decisions because internet and technology have become second nature, but I feel this cycle of change is just a part of an ever evolving society. In Hoskin, McFadyen and Finn’s book Media Economics, they demonstrate the predictability of markets in mathematical terms, although I wonder how emotion plays into this.

In this past Tuesday’s class, I was relieved to find that other people had trouble interpreting the Media Economics book. I was also amused by people’s need to find the key to unlock the secret to some of the concepts. Talking about diminishing marginal returns made me dizzy until Kathy used the beverage analogy: the 10th gulp of a cold drink on hot day is not as refreshing as the first. For economics I do agree with some people in the class, the light bulb has to turn on, otherwise it’s just memorizing stuff and not understanding how they relate.

Learning more about media economics, even the tough stuff, will make it easier to understand the changing landscape that Anderson points out. In fact, I think it’s very important. Being able to pick apart business models that deal with little to no profit and find a way to many money is important because it proves that our current situation is sustainable and here to stay.


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