While we are certainly seeing more and more examples of products being given away for free, it is not necessarily a good thing. There are different aspects and faces of free. The Flickr free, which Fred Wilson calls freemium, is the model where the basic version is free and the premium one costs money.This model is very different from the GMail model where the entire product, with full features, is completely free. The downside of freeconomics is a monopolistic market, with barriers to entry, and little incentive to innovate. In addition the middle-man and transactional complexities are the other side effects of this new economic trend.
(Read the whole thing: Beware of Freeconomics)
It is of course on a topic that I’ve written a lot about, so I won’t comment on it further, just that I agree 🙂