Free And Quite Good.
I had intended to write about the great phrase "peak attention" that I spotted via Russell, but he's done it superbly himself.
His mention of the rise of "free and quite good" alternatives to existing products and services is key and not to be underestimated.
Secondly, there are lots and lots of non-commercial alternatives that are free and quite good. And 'free and quite good' is really hard for regular commercial media to deal with.
But, these do not have to be small, amateur operations. As I constantly write, being remarkable is not about being world-class (though that is preferable), it is about being different. About meeting a demand in a different way that customers think is better than the alternatives. Free fits that bill for many.
Those of you who have clicked through on some of the video links in this blog will already have seen Markus Frind - the king of free and quite good - speaking on some panels. In 2003, he created a low-fi, ad-supported online dating site that was free to users.
In doing so, he showed that the big bucks lie where an existing demand is; that you don't need bells and whistles; and that the strength of that demand can overide the need for perfect user experience (for his users, the overcoming of the hardship of meeting people in real life perhaps outweighs the inconvenience of navigating the site).
He runs Plenty of Fish on servers in his apartment, works maybe 10 hours a week and curently has annual profits of around $10 million. Free and quite profitable.