An age-old free-VS-pay debate just arose again in a one-on-one between Techcrunch and 37 Signals.
The discourse is harmless, ofcourse, but the comments is an interesting read.
One of the commenters, Henry, writes:
we donâ€™t see that something that is great, is worth something, and assuch is worth paying for. Weâ€™ll expect rent free apartments next, andcost free living. If only utopia would come?!
Which comes to my basic question itself — why software? Why is these such a high expectation that software itself will be free — more than rent, healthcare, etc etc? And FREE too, not just reasonably priced?
One argument is perhaps that software is invisible and not a good you can hold and feel, and hence it is difficult to see how the transaction is helping you gain something.
Perhaps another argument is because software can seemingly be quickly morphed and moulded into something else — while rents are for something you can’t really argue about (“here’s the house, here’s the rent, deal with it”) perhaps with software part of us feels that we should mould it to a simple3r version that we dont have to pay for?
What do you guys think — write out your thoughts here and lets add to the global debate.