Kevin Kelly

February 17, 2008

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A few days ago I wrote about a blog post from Kevin Kelly with the theme “free”.
Researching about Kelly I found his article in the NYTimes from 2002!
A great article about innovation and digitalisation.
Here just a few great parts of the article:

“But the moment something becomes free and ubiquitous, its position in the economic equation is suddenly inverted. When nighttime electrical lighting was new, it was the poor who burned common candles. When electricity became easily accessible and practically free, candles at dinner became a sign of luxury.

In this new supersaturated online universe of infinite free digital duplication, the axis of value has flipped. In the industrial age, copies often were more valuable than the original. Most people wanted a perfect working clone. The more common the clone, the more desirable, since it would then come with a brand name respected by others and a network of service and repair outlets.

But now, in a brave new world of abundant and free copies, the order has inverted. Copies are so ubiquitous, so cheap (free, in fact) that the only things truly valuable are those which cannot be copied.

What kinds of things can’t be copied? Well, for instance: trust, immediacy, personalization. There is no way to download these qualities from existing copies or to install them from a friend’s CD. So while you can score a copy free of charge, if you want something authenticated, or immediately, or personalized, you’ll have to pay.”

Also great his thought that digitalisation or copydom has three stages: Perfect, Free and Fluid

“Digital copies are not only perfect and free, they are also fluid. Once music is digitized it becomes a liquid that can be morphed and migrated and flexed and linked. You can filter it, bend it, archive it, rearrange it, remix it, mess with it. And you can do this to music that you write, or music that you listen to, or music that you borrow.”

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One Response to “Kevin Kelly”


  1. […] “scarcity”. Kevin Kelly had some thoughts which values that could be (I wrote about it here and here). Maybe that`s a perspective I missed a  bit in the […]


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