Ways To Distinguish Yourself 25 Walk Away From Free

Ways to distinguish yourself – #25 Walk away from “free”

By Rajesh Setty on Tue 10 May 2005, 6:26 AM – 2 Comments

The general temptation for many of us is to receive things that are “free”

Think about that for a second and see if it is really worth receiving those things that are free. Here are some of my thoughts:

1. I think there is nothing that is “free.” Everything has a price and it has to be paid

2. Sometimes “free” things are “free” because of the value that they bring (close to nothing)

3. Once you receive something for “free” although you may not have paid

anything, remember that there is a powerful force of reciprocation that

is generated within you and you feel compelled to give back. What are

you planning to give back?

4. If the “free” stuff is really worth something, who is underwriting

the “cost” associated with the “free” stuff and why are they doing it?

I can go on but here is the gist – Walk away from “free” it is not worth it. If

the offer is very compelling, then please decide how you will

contribute back to the source in exchange for what you received.

P.S: One of my friends asked me about Open Source software (which is free) and how it works. My answer was simple – At our company CIGNEX,

we use lots and lots of open source software but we make it a point to

contribute back to the community. There are companies bigger than ours

who are contributing a lot more than what we do to keep open source

“free.” Granted, there are thousands of companies who are using open

source for free and not contributing back. Imagine, if a small

percentage of these “free riders” start contributing back – the

software world would be a better place.


Related Articles:

Posted in the Distinguish yourself, Main Page category.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend   

2 Comments so far, Add Yours

Anonymous  on May 10th, 2005

You write…”If the offer is very compelling, then please decide how you will contribute back to the source in exchange for what you received.”

While I believe that it’s always nice to reciprocate when someone gives you something, doesn’t the idea that you receive a gift with the sense that you must give back in some way negate the idea of “free? (which is what you suggest in #1)”

My understanding of “free” is that there is nothing required of me. If there is reciprocation, it flows out of a sense of gratitude. But if a person is giving or doing something for “free,” there must be no expectation of anything in return.

The question that I have is what effect “free” has on a relationship? If a person does give away something for “free” because they ultimately expect something in return (at some point), then their gift is not truly “free.”

Interesting concept.


Anonymous  on May 10th, 2005

Tim, Nice comments. Thanks.

I thought about it and did not want to use the word “gift” anywhere. It is one thing to receive a gift (of course, it is free) and the other thing to anticipate “free” things as in having an “entitlement” mentality. I was covering the later in the post.

I will polish this up in the next round.

Leave a Comment