DEFINITION of 'Weightless Economy'

A portion of the economy which exchanges intangible services and products, including software, databases and intellectual property. There are at least two key features of the weightless economy. First, products have a high initial cost to develop, but a very low cost to reproduce and distribute. Second, products can be distributed infinitely. These two factors mean that the weightless economy can be among the fastest growing and most profitable sectors of business.

BREAKING DOWN 'Weightless Economy'

The weightless economy is also described by some as a feature of a knowledge economy, where knowledge is widely traded as an intangible product, not just used as a tool to manufacture physical products. In such an economy, an individual who possesses that ability to produce intangible products through creativity and know-how is able to grow wealthy even without possessing significant economic resources. This aspect of the weightless economy is demonstrated by the stories of Apple and Microsoft, among others.

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