In this century, or rather, in this millennium, we have come to understand and perhaps even witness the rise of a new economic model. Perhaps it might be a little too fantastic for your taste, but have you seen Zeitgeist, Addendum? The second film in a trilogy, explains the flaws of the capitalist world, not in a communist or socialist way, but in a technological way. If you haven’t seen it, you can watch it completely free online (http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/) after all, it would be contradictory if they charged to watch it; you’ll get the point once you’ve seen it.
Technology based companies are the biggest most notable examples that this developing economic model is paying fruits. Google is the ultimate “free is the new economic model” as so explains Jeff Jarvis in his book “What Would Google Do?” Other companies like Facebook, Craiglist, Twitter and Lulu.com are also mentioned in his book and in his blog http://www.buzzmachine.com/
Basically, the “free” model means that it is free of charge for any user to search for a service or product. How is it then that these companies turn into million dollar venues? Collective participation of other companies or you can call it advertisement as well. Google AdWords for example, make it available and cheap for anyone to publicize themselves anywhere in the world.
The interesting part of the book, the whole book for that matter, is that Jarvis takes Google philosophy to be applied in any kind of business or situation. He takes it to universities, health systems, traffic, governments, books, you name it. He explains step by step how crowd sourcing or collective collaboration comes out to be the cheapest most efficient system there can ever be. Very much like Zeitgeist or like Thomas More’s “Utopia” written some centuries ago.
Perhaps back in that time people viewed Sir Thomas More as a fool or a wonderful fiction writer, but who knew that through time his ideas would be picked up and perfected. As they say, artists get recognized only after their time on this planet has passed.