JCL Blog

Chris Anderson's List

Chris Anderson also spoke at the HP Discover event last week where he presented an inspiring list of the things the young people now entering the workforce want / expect.  He was careful to point out that with considering the current reality that these things can be delivered through employee owned devices (phones) that the new creative class will get these things whether employers deliver them or not.

Top 10 expectations of the new creative class:

  1. Mobility...work anywhere but still have hallway conversations and other serendipity
  2. Openness...don't even try to hide the truth or even spin it
  3. Technology is a personal statement...what is your tech saying about you?
  4. Featherweight apps...do one thing very well...less is more
  5. Cloud first...they don't care how hard it is to get there from here...they are already there
  6. Sync...Dropbox...ambient communication that just works
  7. Social Media...Dunbar limit hits media.
  8. Unstructured in a structured way...Evernote
  9. Security, trust and scale matters...gmail 2 step verification 
  10. Blurred lines forever...wherever you go, there you are.

Sounds awesome to me.  Where to I sign up!  Hire the new creative class!

Book Review: Free by Chris Anderson

There are so many great books on my reading list that moving Chris Anderson's "Free" to the top was not something I was all that excited about. In the tech marketing business it is hard to go a week without someone referencing his book however, so to the top it went. I really liked "The Long Tail" and therefore had no justifiable reason to read it begrudgingly. Turns out it is quite good.

I do not ordinarily read with a pen or pencil in my hand. I used to underline things but found I never went back and used the markings so why bother. About 30 pages into Free I found I had 10 pages dog eared and got out my pencil. Just about every page in the book now has a note on it. The book is very well researched, easy to read, and full of great quotes I will want to find easily. The exercise of reading Free also added half a dozen other books to my reading list.

No small part of my reluctance to read the thing was based in the thought that I already knew what he was going to say. Free drives traffic, traffic is value, value converts to dollars some other way...example, example, example, done. While the book does follow this framework, it is much more interesting than that. I had heard many other arguments that the new currencies of attention and reputation were more valuable than dollars, but this book makes the idea pop and then locks it in with solid facts and a convincing cast of supporters.

The author tackles the critics head on and even devotes a chapter to a list of many arguments against the idea of Free and then crisply refutes them one by one. Now there is a limit of course. I am pretty sure I know what would happen should I call up the IRS and suggest that living in this country should be free.

Clearly everything cannot be free, but Chris Anderson does a good job of articulating why some businesses are better off adopting the model.

The two current high profile tests of this idea: Rupert Murdoch against Google, and the New York Times 2011 pay wall decision, happened after the publishing date; and both the NY Times and the WSJ are cited numerous times. These new developments do not take away from the book, and somehow even make the reading seem even more relevant.

Here are some other very good reviews. All of them come in on the too good to be true side. I will post a rebuttal at some later date because I am in the middle of a couple of other contra argument books and I want to give both sides equal time before I conclude anything dramatic.

The New Yorker

NY Times Book Review

Washington Post

Here is a link to the book on Amazon.