CLEARWIRE LOGO.png (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
NetZero (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Some in marketing call it the razor blade strategy, where you give away the razor and make the customers buy the blades. On a more urban level, the idea is cruder, but every bit as effective. It's called the drug dealer strategy where the first hit is free, then you get hooked on drugs. It's not a tough model to put out in public, and based on the moves that Clearwire is making with FreedomPop and NetZero, we have what is going to be the makings of the Crips and Bloods about to hit wireless data.
Yankee Group's Richard Karpinski calls them the "Skype's of Data" implying the disruptive nature of the business model. And, he's not far off as one of the backers of Freedom Pop is Niklas Zennstrom, founder and profiteer from Skype.