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.Mac - Part 2
July 22, 2002

There has been a lot of talk about whether or not Steve Jobs ever told us that iTools would be "free for life" or not. I guess no one read their agreement when they clicked on "Accept" but that is another issue.

People heard "free for life" because they wanted to hear "free for life".

This issue is so deep, that it is frightening. It goes WAY beyond Apple.

We live in a time and an age that is Post Internet Boom. Everyone was offering all kinds of stuff online for free because they were trying to build traffic to their site, build branding for their company and then build demand for advertising dollars. However, it was a fallacy and a great disappointment. THAT business model is dead. It WILL NOT WORK.

Econ 101 teaches you "there is NO free lunch". I would add to that "there is NO free lunch, even on the internet".

Let me ask anyone of you what you do for a living and then I want you to GIVE ME something for free FOREVER.

How about you? are you a graphic designer. OK, if I buy one business card design can I come back EVERY TIME I WANT and get a new card designed.

Or you. Do you sell computer parts and service? Let's say I BUY one USB cable for my computer, does that mean that for the rest of my life I can come in and get FREE STUFF.

Or you, the lawyer... let's say I pay you once for say a small accident injury case. Can I come to you for THE REST OF MY LIFE whenever I need legal council?

NO, of course not.

This attitude is HUGE, it is systemic and generational and it is just going to have to stop.

If you don't understand this then you are too far lost in this way of thinking and you will forever be disappointed for one of two reasons.

1. You won't be able to find stuff for free or

2. The companies that ONCE gave you free stuff, will keep going out of business.

You MUST begin to see Apple as YOUR partner, not YOUR adversary. If you don't you will KILL the company that has worked and slaved SO hard to create for you a product that presumably you fell in love with, or at least thought was cool enough to take home with you.

Any company that tries the 'free anything' approach WILL DIE.

As for me, I want Apple to be around for A LOOONNGGG time.

Chris Fenwick (.mac user)