Prominent venture capitalist Fred Wilson has an interesting hypothesis: that by not charging data fees for certain apps/services such as Spotify and Pandora, wireless providers are going to destroy innovation. It’s basically a net neutrality style argument against this practice of free service, which Fred Wilson calls ‘zero rating’ (as in: the services will be rated as a 0 in terms of the amount of data you download over the network via that service and thus you’ll be charged nothing).
The article also goes on to describe Facebook’s recent efforts to bring internet access to mobile users in places like Zambia. This, too, is derided by the intelligentsia as destructive because the experience is carefully curated by the providers (Facebook’s Internet.org, in this case) and isn’t “the real internet” nor the fully powered internet.
So in the perverse thinking of those who don’t understand property rights nor personal choice, we have found ourselves in a world where the argument that giving people stuff for free is really bad for them. Yes, it’s as stupid as it sounds.
Fred Wilson: fail.