Eight “Better Than Free” Generatives for Learning and Side Projects

By | Experiments, Learning | No Comments

I’m a big fan of Kevin Kelly’s post “Better Than Free”, where he posits eight “generatives” that cannot be infinitely copied and thus accrete tremendous valuable in the new digital economy even as prices of raw digital goods (copies) themselves trend toward zero. (If you haven’t read that, please do! Otherwise my thoughts below may not fully make sense.)

As this is one of my favorite articles about new ways of approaching ideas of value and transactions in the digital age, I thought it would be a fun exercise to try applying this framework to the loose assemblage of projects I’ve been working on under the “Self Starter’s Guide” umbrella — which includes things like Idea Exchanges and other group learning events, Antilibraries, lesson material on self-directed learning and building a creative writing habit, and assorted embryonic writing projects.

With all these in mind, I’d like to think out loud and try to tease out some new ideas for how I might structure my work to stand out and create value in interesting ways. I think these eight generatives — immediacy, personalization, interpretation, authenticity, accessibility, embodiment, patronage, and findability — are useful lenses for thinking about all sorts of projects, and I’ll probably continue to return to them when I need to recharge the strategic batteries. Read More