Free is awesome. Especially at lunch. But as they say, there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Giving away some of our own personal value/intellectual property is essential in winning business from others. Its the free sample at the grocery store of the warm, organic bread that lures you into buying the whole loaf. Its essential in the business world. Period.
But are there situations where free isn’t good. Does a client take “free” work as seriously as work they pay for? Do students who receive a free ride to college do better than students and families struggling to pay tuition? Do kids who receive free cars from their parents appreciated them more and take care of them better than kids who scrape together money for a POS vehicle that barely runs?
I’ve seen the college situation in spades when I was in school. My parents, rightfully so, had me pay for as much of college as possible. When it was community college, I paid for tutition and my folks paid for books. When finishing my degree at a private university, I paid as much as possible and my folks chipped in the rest. Only my first semester was dismal. The rest had a steadily increasing GPA with a 4.0 sprinkled in there.
Free isn’t always better.