The TIME Tech 40: The Most Influential Minds in Tech
Foreign Policy's 2013 Global Thinkers
Chris Anderson is the most forward-looking and articulate speaker about the effect of new technology on business. His first book, The Long Tail, is the definitive account of how the internet undermined blockbuster-culture and created an economy of targeted niche products. His next book, Free, explored the new online marketplace of "free" products, explaining how companies can make money by giving things away. Now, in his newest book Makers, Chris unfolds for us the latest chapter in the digital revolution: a physical revolution.
Makers: The New Industrial Revolution introduces a new era of micro-manufacturing. New technologies such as 3D printing and electronics assembly allow anyone with an idea to build it. Data can become objects — and everyone nowadays has access to data. This means the extraordinary democratization of information which the internet has enabled is about to be mirrored by the democratization of physical creation. In Chris' phrase, "atoms are the new bits".
Chris isn't sitting on the sidelines of this revolution. He is the CEO of 3D Robotics, a leading unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) company, with offices and factories in Berkeley, San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. He is also the founder of DIYDrones, an aerial robotics community with more than 40,000 members.
As Editor-in-chief of Wired, Chris led the magazine to two dozen National Magazine Award nominations, winning the prestigious top prize for general excellence in 2005, 2007 and 2009. Chris stepped down from his role at the magazine after an incredibly successful 12-year run to become CEO of 3DRobotics. He worked at The Economist for seven years in various positions and served as an editor at the two premier science journals Science and Nature.
The Future of a Radical Price
The New York Times bestselling author heralds the future of business.
In his revolutionary bestseller, The Long Tail, Chris Anderson demonstrated how the online marketplace creates niche markets, allowing products and consumers to connect in a way that has never been possible before. Now, in Free, he makes the compelling case that in many instances businesses can profit more from giving things away than they can by charging for them. Far more than a promotional gimmick, Free is a business strategy that may well be essential to a company's survival.
The costs associated with the growing online economy are trending toward zero at an incredible rate. Never in the course of human history have the primary inputs to an industrial economy fallen in price so fast and for so long. Just think that in 1961, a single transistor cost $10; now Intel's latest chip has two billion transistors and sells for $300 (or 0.000015 cents per transistor--effectively too cheap to price). The traditional economics of scarcity just don't apply to bandwidth, processing power, and hard-drive storage.
Yet this is just one engine behind the new Free, a reality that goes beyond a marketing gimmick or a cross-subsidy. Anderson also points to the growth of the reputation economy; explains different models for unleashing the power of Free; and shows how to compete when your competitors are giving away what you're trying to sell.
In Free, Chris Anderson explores this radical idea for the new global economy and demonstrates how this revolutionary price can be harnessed for the benefit of consumers and businesses alike.
Free — The Telegraph
What You Pay For — The New York Times
"Chris Anderson's Free unpacks a paradox of the online marketplace — people making money charging nothing. What was once just a marketing gimmick has morphed into the basis of a trillion-dollar economy."
"Anderson's timing couldn't be better. Free arrives as whole swaths of the economy are having to contend with consumers finding ways — some illegal, many not — to go Free."
— Boston Sunday Globe
"I'd put Anderson and his work on par with Malcolm Gladwell and Clayton M. Christensen as one of the more important pieces of business philosophy published in the emerging global, digital era."
— Alan T. Saracevic, San Francisco Chronicle
The New Industrial Revolution
If the past ten years have been about discovering new social and innovation models on the Web, then the next ten years will be about applying them to the real world.
If a country wants to stay economically vibrant it needs to manufacture things. In recent years, however, the developed world has become obsessed with making money out of the precarious service sector, leaving the real business of manufacturing to the developing world.
Makers: The New Industrial Revolution is about how to reverse that. Transformative change happens when industries democratize, when they’re ripped from the sole domain of big business and government and taken over by entrepreneurs. The Internet democratized publishing, broadcasting, and communications, and the consequence was a massive increase in the range of both participation and participants in everything digital - the long tail of bits. Now the same is happening to manufacturing - the long tail of things.
Chris Anderson, bestselling author of The Long Tail explains how this is happening: how such technologies as 3D printing and electronics assembly are becoming available to everybody, and how people are building successful businesses as a result. Anybody with an idea and a little expertise can now set assembly lines in China in motion with nothing more than some keystrokes on their laptop. And that’s just the beginning.
The Web was once simply the proof of concepts. Now the revolution hits the real world.
Crown Business (October 2, 2012)
The Longer Long Tail
Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More
(Revised and Updated Edition)
The New York Times bestseller that introduced the business world to a future that's already here — now in paperback with a new chapter about Long Tail Marketing and a new epilogue.
Winner of the Gerald Loeb Award for Best Business Book of the Year
In the most important business book since The Tipping Point, Chris Anderson shows how the future of commerce and culture isn't in hits, the high-volume head of a traditional demand curve, but in what used to be regarded as misses — the endlessly long tail of that same curve.
Hyperion; Rev Upd edition (July 8, 2008)
"It belongs on the shelf between The Tipping Point and Freakonomics."
— Reed Hastings, CEO, Netflix
"Anderson's insights . . . continue to influence Google's strategic thinking in a profound way."
— Eric Schmidt, CEO, Google
"Anyone who cares about media . . . must read this book."
— Rob Glaser, CEO, RealNetworks
The Long Tail
Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More
Selected as one of the best books of the year by BusinessWeek, strategy+business, Amazon.com, and The Times of London.
What happens when the bottlenecks that stand between supply and demand in our culture go away and everything becomes available to everyone?
"The Long Tail" is a powerful new force in our economy: the rise of the niche. As the cost of reaching consumers drops dramatically, our markets are shifting from a one-size-fits-all model of mass appeal to one of unlimited variety for unique tastes. From supermarket shelves to advertising agencies, the ability to offer vast choice is changing everything, and causing us to rethink where our markets lie and how to get to them. Unlimited selection is revealing truths about what consumers want and how they want to get it, from DVDs at Netflix to songs on iTunes to advertising on Google.
However, this is not just a virtue of online marketplaces; it is an example of an entirely new economic model for business, one that is just beginning to show its power. After a century of obsessing over the few products at the head of the demand curve, the new economics of distribution allow us to turn our focus to the many more products in the tail, which collectively can create a new market as big as the one we already know.
The Long Tail is really about the economics of abundance. New efficiencies in distribution, manufacturing, and marketing are essentially resetting the definition of what’s commercially viable across the board. If the 20th century was about hits, the 21st will be equally about niches.
Chris tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.
Makers: The New Industrial Revolution
Chris discusses Makers: The New Industrial Revolution
A major hardware computer manfuacturer:
Hi Karen –
Thank you again for all your help with Chris Anderson’s presentation last week. I wanted to drop you a note and let you know that Chris was great. He was a pleasure to work with, he went the extra mile (I think he really enjoyed judging the science fair) and he did a very good presentation.
A strong travel industry voice:
It went exceptionally well. Chris was fantastic!
An IT conference:
He was phenomenal — we were all so impressed and impacted by his presentation.
A business communications company:
All of the feedback from Chris’s presentation to IBM last week has been really positive. Our clients, as well as my colleagues, all thought Chris did a really great job. Everyone’s very happy so it’s all good! So all in all, this was a great success. Please pass along my thanks to Chris for being so terrific, both on-stage and off. Until the next time...
An international research organization:
Anderson amazing, scored well, changed the way people thought about their business, most impactful speaker, first time in a long time someone really made a difference, not just entertain/inspire.
A marketing services firm:
Chris was terrific! Very nice guy and easy to work with.
He got a great response to the book signing - everyone enjoyed meeting him and were impressed with his insights.
Thanks again for your help.
A marketing department of a large entertainment company:
I just wanted to send along a big thanks for all of your help throughout this whole process in setting up Chris as one of our speakers. He was an absolute star and everyone really enjoyed the opportunity to hear him speak. And more importantly, he is a fantastic individual and a very considerate and genuine person. I hope that he enjoyed the opportunity as much as the group did on our end.
Thanks again for all your help and please pass along our sincere thanks to Chris and everyone else who helped to pull this off.
A music technology company:
It was really great having Chris. He was very polished and informative and certainly brought a level of prestige and class to our Summer School.
Thanks for all of your time and attention.