Ways to distinguish yourself – #25 Walk away from "free"

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.