The First One is For Free

There is a common observation that many AI tools are offered for free or at a low cost, which has raised suspicions regarding the long-term intentions of tech companies. This business model revolves around initially providing a product or service at an attractive price point to capture a large user base. Once users become reliant on the product and it becomes ingrained in their daily lives, companies can then introduce changes or monetization strategies.

For instance, Uber operated at significant losses for several years, offering rides at a fraction of the cost of traditional taxis. This strategy aimed to train users to prefer Uber over other options. Similarly, Airbnb positioned itself as a cheaper alternative to hotels, gradually increasing prices as it gained widespread adoption. These examples illustrate how companies can leverage initial affordability to dominate industries and establish new norms.

Another aspect is how Google emerged as the dominant search engine, shaping the way people find information online. Despite some concerns about the quality of search results, many individuals now heavily rely on Google for their searches, potentially limiting their awareness of alternative search methods.

Additionally, streaming services revolutionized the way people consume media. By providing easy access to a vast library of content at a reasonable subscription fee, they deterred piracy and shifted the consumption model towards monthly payments. This allows companies to exercise greater control over access to media content.

While these strategies may raise concerns about the long-term consequences and potential manipulation of user behavior, it is important to recognize the value and convenience these services initially provide. As consumers, it’s crucial to stay informed, evaluate alternatives, and be mindful of the changing landscape of technology and business models.

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