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The Curve

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The Curve

How Smart Companies Use Freeloaders to Find Superfans


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Embrace “the power of free.”

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


Upload your latest book, song or game to pirate sites or YouTube. Give away your e-book on Amazon. Send your best game to iTunes, priced at zero. Free is a way to sell more of your creations to the most people at the highest prices. Give good stuff away to build an audience, cultivate your audience members, create fans and “superfans” at the top of your “Curve” and sell, sell, sell. Consultant Nicholas Lovell offers short, powerful lessons about principles that he believes apply – or soon will apply – to many businesses. getAbstract recommends Lovell’s functional, profit-oriented vision of the future to anyone who needs to understand the marketplace, especially those offering digital or creative products.


“The Curve”

The few people who love your products or services enough to spend a lot of money are positioned at the top of your Curve. At the bottom are hundreds, thousands or millions of freeloaders taking whatever you or your competitors give them as long as it’s free.

Love your audience at both ends of the Curve and everyone in between. Adore and cater to your fans and your big spending “superfans,” but don’t despise the freeloaders. They might become fans or even superfans. Even if they don’t, they promote and market you, and refer clients to you – thus expanding your audience. As your audience grows, you’ll earn a good living even if only a small minority buys anything; you might even amass enormous wealth.

Nine Inch Nails and Lady Gaga

Consider musicians like Lady Gaga or Trent Reznor of the band Nine Inch Nails. They don’t rail against music piracy, the appearance of free videos on YouTube or streaming music subscription sites like Spotify. They give away their music by uploading it to pirate sites and YouTube, accepting payments of fractions of a cent for song plays or downloads on subscription sites.

Reznor gave away the first part of his...

About the Author

Nicholas Lovell applies the Curve principles to his London-based book writing, speaking, consulting and training business.

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