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What is the history of 'free' in business?

Matthew Manos

When I was young, I remember a moment in a local grocery store when I saw a coupon for a free toy. I looked to my dad and said, “Look, a free toy!!!” His response to me was: “Matthew... Nothing in this world is free.” I’ve spent the majority of my professional career actually trying to prove that sentiment wrong and, so far, I am not quite sure if I have been able to or not.

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  • Daniela

    Matt, this is very interesting. The research and time you have dedicated to this topic is shown in your work. I love how you explained how "free" is the business way of letting people get a taste of what they are going to get. Take the example of the lawyer; it is not only a service but a relationship you are going to establish. Therefore, just like in relationships you date, in a service providing business this "free consultation" lets you see a sneak preview. It also amazed me to read about how Coca-cola has been amazing at user engagement since the very beginning with their coupons ;)

  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    Great post, Matt. Love how you breakdown the definition of free in business. Do you prefer the coupon, BOGO, or service/skillshare model or do you think they're all great in their own respects? This one sentence caught my eye: "Coupons can help convince a consumer to try your stuff." With verynice, you're giving nonprofits coupons for your services in a way!