Jay Cross
Jay Cross

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Form Factor
Sunday, August 08, 2004
This morning, on a lark, I saved a couple of years of Blog entries in several categories as Microsoft MHT files, which are readable in Microsoft Word. Perhaps these will appeal to people who aren't comfortable with Blogs (even though the style remains Last In First Out and the tone is flip).
Remember when thick, paperback software manuals were the rage? You could pay $25 for the book or $50 for the book+CD combo. Similarly, you might pay $1,200 to hear a visionary speak at a conference for an hour or $35 to buy her book. We have predefined notions of what a package should cost no matter what the value of its contents. Hence, we pay the same amount to rent a great DVD as a mediocre one. The Rhino CD of 20 versions of Louie, Louie retails for the same price as a CD of Glenn Gould playing Mozart's Goldberg Variations. The latest book by Danielle Steele costs the same as a hardcover by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Changing the media can truly distort pricing. The high-profile consultant charges $20,000 for a one-on-one session, $10,000 to lead a workshop, $5,000 for a research paper on the topic, and $30 for his published book. Price irrationality really gets out of hand on the web. Some of the freshest, most direct information around can be found in Blogs, yet nobody pays to access a blog. The Blog form factor comes with the notion "free." Some of the thoughts you're reading right now may morph into a book or, better still, a $20,000 one-hour consulting engagement.


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