On his Long Tail blog, Chris Anderson brings our attention to an interesting subset from the recently released Forbes 400 list: the members of the Billionaires Club that have earned their spot through offering services and products that are “primarily free to consumers”. The list, Anderson point out, doesn’t include media moguls whose businesses largely (but not solely) include free web and broadcast content, like Barry Diller (IAC) and Rupert Murdoch (News Corp.). Since posting the list, Anderson received some commentator feedback that called into question some of the examples (particularly Omidyar of eBay and Peter Thiel of Facebook/ Paypal), but overall the point still stands – ‘free’ can result in fortune – and a lot of it.

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