Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Open Source Textbooks Challenge Inelastic Demand

Wired magazine has a brief blog post on the innovators at Flat World Knowledge.

In a nutshell, there is a huge, inelastic demand for college texts, even though textbook prices are high. Because of this there is a lot of piracy and a robust secondary market for textbooks -- but not for long, because they are updated every couple of years, rendering old editions virtually worthless.

Flat World's business plan aims to exploit the inefficiencies: Its books are online and free. Instead of charging for content it aims to make money by wrapping content up in "convenient" downloadable and print wrappers and selling those, along with study aides and related items.

Comments on the site are also pithy.

Good way to break one of the rackets of the organized crime syndicate known as academia!

Posted by: anon | Sep 2, 2008 8:42:47 AM

State Sponsored? Are you mad?
If this is not a profitable venture, why would it be acceptable for the government to foot the bill...keeping in mind, government is nothing more than a bunch of bad business men and women, for the most part. This is the kind of illogical thinking that has plunged our nation further and further in to debt. A debt that we soon be unable to overcome. People with the mindset of Mr. or Mrs. "SW" need to evaluate what the governments role in society truly is.
Oh and if it makes money, I suppose it would be a good idea. Let the market decide.

Posted by: Newsboy50 | Sep 2, 2008 9:35:25 AM

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