It’s all a matter of reference.
When I mean “conscious”, I mean setting the price with the information of what the “thing” cost to produce. So, we set the price in relation to a constraint.
When I hear “free”, I mean: what did you get for value? How much does it cost you in relation to your frame of reference, your tastes, your resources, your priorities?
I think that if we want to make our society smarter, it is a better incentive to generate value assessed by the beneficiaries than to respond to a constraint expressed by the producers.
If an action does not generate enough value to the beneficiary, perhaps we should rethink our approach rather than “conscientize” them to pay more. Be smarter… and more inclusive at the same time.
I prefer to think “free price”.
I got my hair cut at a park by a pro who was cutting “price conscious”. It lasted 15 minutes, we had too much fun, and most importantly it was the first time I was happy with my haircut when I left the barber!
I imagined that she didn’t have to pay for a room, that she was taking this money on the side, that it only lasted 20 minutes and that she was my friend after all. I told myself that 15€ was honest.
Now I’m ashamed of myself. If I had thought about free price, I might have dropped a big bill. It was the best hair session of my life.
Free pricing, in my opinion, refocuses on the essential and makes us smarter when conscious pricing is an admission of fear of not considering the other.
The example of the hourly rate
I am not very much in tune with Bernard Friot’s view that salary should be based on personal qualifications and not on the position. I think the reality is more complicated.
When I have to offer my hourly rate for a project, I ask myself:
- Does this project make sense in relation to what I already do?
- Do I have any synergies to bring to it?
- Will I learn something?
- Will I make new friends?
- Can it help make the world a better place?
- What investment for what impact?
- What do I need financially?
- What is the economic reality of the whole project?
- Do I want to do it
It is thanks to all this bilateral transparency that I will be able to propose a contextual hourly rate. It’s all about context, and if there’s anything to be aware of, it’s the benchmarks we choose.
I think that putting these benchmarks on the value generated in a global way in the cooperation rather than on protection grids encourages us to be more innovative and creative.
I work a lot for free, when I think it’s worth it. If I do it, it’s because I find myself in it.
Little by little.
Magasin gratuit is a collective in Marseille that I contributed to that “sells” free clothes during urban sessions and that now has a (free) space at 3 rue Pierre Roche in the 4th district of Marseille.
The cool thing about volunteering at Magasin Gratuit is that you don’t have to go to the store to buy clothes anymore because you are the first one to open the donation boxes. You’d think that once the volunteers are gone, the luxury is gone. But the story has been going on for more than a year and we manage to offer really chic clothes because the volunteers’ wardrobes are already top notch! They are even the ones who give the most beautiful nuggets.
We live in a society of abundance. We just need to become a little more intelligent to realize it. But changing our collective frames of reference will take time, so we’ll take it easy.
I think that the free price is a good way to start.
Long live free pricing.
le prix libre.