Will everything be free?

Or, more specifically, will every (Web 2.0 or not) service and application be free?

Many Web startups and new services concentrate on collecting a very large user base, and only after thinking about monetizing, which is inevitably ads or has a very strong ads component. That way, they never get customers, only users, because they never get money from them. This uneases me a bit, maybe because I'm not a big fan of marketing and publicity, or maybe because I can't conceive the online publicity model to scale into the de-facto monetizing solution for the Web.

That and I've started following the "There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch" motto long ago (I like the Portuguese variant a lot: NHAG - "Não Há Almoços Grátis"), so I don't trust "free" completely anymore.

Well, this was just an oppinion of mine that I summarized quickly as an introduction to point you, my dear reader, to this article written by Alex Iskold on ReadWriteWeb: The Danger of Free. The article also focuses on the effects of free products in the economy and market competition.

I might get back on the subject with more of my own words later. More goodies after the jump.


Delay sending emails by one minute

I've told some people that I have configured my MS Outlook to delay sending of emails by one minute. They all acted quite surprised and a few were even confused. "That's right, when I press send, it's only actually sent one minute later."

I've started to use that more than a year ago. At the time, I had to deal with clients in some ongoing projects, faculty assignments, participated in a couple other side projects... I had a lot of context-switching going on, especially with email.

Sometimes when composing or replying to emails, I would press the "send" button and shortly after find myself saying out loud stuff like "damn, I forgot the attachment", "oh no, I didn't write the subject", "oops, forgot to mention subject X" or "shit, I just misspelled his/her name"... Too many times, for sure!

As much as I trained myself to re-read every email before sending, it seemed that the "send" action triggers something else that I couldn't consciously trigger myself, something that often spots some other flaw previously uncovered.

So, I roamed Outlook preferences, filters and rules until I discovered a rule that delays sending of all emails by any amount of minutes. That was what I needed :)

Initially I started with a two-minutes delay, but quickly brought it down to one minute. If you suffer from this "syndrome" I tried to describe here, maybe you'll find this little lifehack useful too!