Business Model Generation has a nice section on FREE. Ad-based multisided (usually web based) companies offer a utility for free in order to sell ad space. This is not a new idea. Google and FB do it the best because they are tracking your metadata and sell personalized ad space. What I’m wondering though is if ideas like Intel’s Museum of Me are feeding social graph and meta data to add personalization to their recent moves into gaming optimization tech, platforms and partnerships. In any case, this raises an interesting idea. What happens when brands start wanting to invest in free utilities purely in order to drive user data and personalization across their entire business model? Not only is the CTO merging with the CMO, but to me, in the future, ad agencies look more like tech/web-based start ups. They contribute not only awareness and connection to customers, but also insight into what customers need. A utility goes beyond a desire. Utility offers need fulfillment and intuitive design in exchange for data.