“Thank you my friend I have never met. […] I found your blog post “fuck the internet” on a day I was in a bad way.
[…] You know what the best part is? You didn’t even charge me a dime. Thank you so much. I could never have heard what you had to say if you were charging admission. I would be glad to pay you now but I’m currently broke. :) I’m going be doing real good real soon and I will help you out if you need it then.
I get a lot of emails from people, it’s true. But this one really hit home.
Some people I know charge $300 an hour for their time doing basically what I do on this site for free. I met a guy last week who charges $15,000 a year or something for mentoring a few people. I hear they’re very good at it too.
I actually could do these things. I know that I could because I kind of do already with some people that I know– I just do it for free– but I know that people would pay. Sometimes I’ll get an email going “are you coaching so-and-so? I can hear your voice coming out of his mouth,” and I’ll reply, “we talk every little while, yeah,” or “he reads my blog I think.” Not that I’m saying that I influence everyone with a voice like mine, not at all.
Anyway, I had a conversation with someone last week where they kind of hinted that I have “issues around money” or whatever (I’m paraphrasing) because I would rather get a great book out for free to 100,000 people than make a dollar or two per copy and sell 10% of that number. It’s the truth though, and I’m not sure it’s because I’m awkward about it, I just really believe that amazing stuff should be available for free. This is the internet, I figure you can charge if you want as long as you’re ok with competing with free.
I’m not making a secret out of the fact that I’m doing fine financially, and I understand that not everyone can experiment with this. That’s fine. But even if I had sold millions of books I would still probably give much of them away or find a way to give them away for free. I just think it’s the right thing to do.
Free worked for Paulo Coelho. He seeded torrents of his own work and it increased sales.
Free worked for Vice magazine– nobody would have paid for that– and now it’s ubiquitous.
Free worked for Angry Birds. Now people play it for more than 1 million hours per day.
But it’s not just about free. It’s more than that. Soon, it’s going to be GREAT + FREE.
And how in God’s name do you compete against that?