*Information Wants to be Shared*

by on October 2, 2012 at 3:10 pm in Books, Economics | Permalink

That is the new Harvard Business Review Press book by Joshua Gans, Amazon link here, $3.99, recommended.  Here is Joshua’s blog.

Dan Weber October 2, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Who wants to wants to make the information in this book “more valuable, useful and immediate” by “sharing” it with me instead of charging $3.99?

C October 2, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Read the first line of the book description on Amazon: “Stewart Brand famously declared, ‘Information wants to be free.’ Except he didn’t (not really). And it doesn’t.” Don’t force information to be what it doesn’t want to be ^_^

Dan Weber October 2, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Hence why I asked someone to “share” it with me.

“More valuable, useful and immediate” are his words of what happens to information when you share it.

The Original D October 2, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Information wants to be anthropomorphized.

Tim Sullivan October 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm

If you buy the e-book from HBR.org, you can actually share it with friends for less than asking price. So we’re trying to implement Joshua’s theory, to some extent.

Bill October 2, 2012 at 8:46 pm

So, if he asks a penny less for it, “Less than the asking price” is $3.98 would be the price to make it a true statement.

So, I ask, will he pay me to read it.

whatsthat October 2, 2012 at 10:24 pm

How about Joshua implementing Joshua’s theory?

Dismalist October 2, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Guys, forget the optimality conditions [p = mc = 0], and look for feasibility! Price discrimination schemes look like such to some degree.

Or, go to Europe, where this sort of thing is optimally subsidized, right??

prior_approval October 3, 2012 at 1:23 am

Any Swiss citizen can download this for free, legally, to the extent that the Swiss government has explicitly stated that it is not government policy to be in the least concerned about the copyright status of any data on the Internet, and that the Swiss government will not be spending any money on anything that could be called digital copyright enforcement of files available on the Internet. (A current overview, though it is mixed English/German – http://www.steigerlegal.ch/2012/09/21/digitale-piraterie-amerikanische-kritik-an-der-schweiz/ )

Is that what you meant?

Joshua Gans October 4, 2012 at 8:32 pm

For Dan, I actually thought about that when choosing the publisher for the book.

My idea was to ensure that if you read the book and liked it then it would be easier to share it with friends. It is the thesis of the book that such things make good business sense.

So here is how HBR have implemented that idea. If you buy the book, you will find a code at the very end of the book that you can send to a friend. This will allow them to purchase it from HBR.org directly for just $0.99. That makes for pretty easy sharing.

There are other ways one can imagine doing that sort of thing but this is a good start and it will be interesting to see how it goes.

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