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The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More Paperback – July 8, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
In the October 2004 issue of Wired magazine, Chris Anderson published an article in which he shared these observations: "(1) the tail of available variety is far longer than we realize; (2) it's now within reach economically; (3) all those niches, when aggregated, can make up a significant market - seemed indisputable, especially backed up with heretofore unseen data." That is even truer today than it was when The Long Tail was first published years ago. The era that Anderson characterizes as "a market of multitudes" continues to grow in terms of both its nature and extent. In this book, Anderson takes his reader on a guided tour of this market as he explains what the probable impact the new market will have and what will be required to prosper in it.
According to Anderson, those who read the article saw the Long Tail everywhere, from politics to public relations, and from sheet music to college sports. "What people intuitively grasped was that new efficiencies in distribution, manufacturing, and marketing were changing the definition of what was commercially viable across the board. The best way to describe these forces is that they are turning unprofitable customers, products, and markets into profitable ones." Therefore, the story of the Long Tail is really about the economics of abundance: "what happens when the bottlenecks that stand between supply and demand in our culture start to disappear and everything becomes available to everyone.Read more ›
Chris Anderson has done a very good job of showing us the new "economics of abundance," or the connection of supply and demand thru technology and the Internet.
Question: What happens when everything in the world becomes available to everyone?
Answer: A market that never dies... markets for every niche, and vice-versa.
The Long Tail.
Using corporate examples like Google, eBay, iTunes and Netflix, Anderson lends an interesting perspective on how these companies have grabbed the Long Tail theory (consciously or unconsciously) and used it as the foundation for their staggering success. For customers of these companies, being online means unlimited "shelf space" - access to hundreds of thousands of bits of information, products and services they'd never been exposed to otherwise.
But how does the ordinary businessperson experience the success of the eBays of the world? Here, Anderson falls short. He states his "secret" to The Long Tail:
1. Make everything available
2. Help me find it
It's the "help me find it" part that Anderson ignores. In fact, it's the end of the book... you're left hanging, thinking, "So how in hell am I supposed to help people find me?"
Taken for what it is - a good presentation of a present-day theory (and one that was adequately covered in the original article in Wired magazine), the book is fine. But to really understand what it takes to make the Long Tail theory work for you, you must get a copy of "Waiting for Your Cat to Bark.Read more ›
The author explains how in traditional retail, you have the 80/20 rule, with 20 percent of the products accounting for 80 percent of the revenue. Online, instead, he sees the "98 percent rule." Where 98 percent of all the possible choices get chosen by someone, and where the 90 percent that is only available online accounts for half the revenue and two-thirds of the profits. He also explains how filters and recommender systems that help people find what they are really looking for are crucial ingredients. Thus, in a nutshell, Anderson's theory is that mass culture is fading, and being replaced by a series of niches. Thus the subtitle of his book, "Why The Future of Business Is Selling Less of More."
The author explains that the three forces of the long tail are:
1. Democratization of the tools of production such as GarageBand for musicians.
2. Minimization of the costs of distribution which in turn minimize the cost of consumption such as wideband internet connections.
3. The connection of consumers to one another to minimize the noise down the tail, such as this Amazon review system.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
the book was worth the Read but I so far have found the application of the theory to be pretty much impractical... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Norvell Maples
In the book The Long Tail by Chris Anderson he talks about his concept of The Long Tail and how the world is evolving from a one size fits all sense of marketing to a one size fits... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Well thought out and researched. Openeded my mind to new opportunities. Would love more material on how to implement the ideas in my business.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Good read - practically *required* when I ran the IT and Dev Team at Createspace - Amazon's print and dvd on demand subsidiaries.Published 7 months ago by jim