What I’ve been reading – The Long Tail


This post is in response to Rachel’s inquiry of a book to recommend. Good idea for suggesting this as a forum for sharing interesting books!

I read The Long Tail  by Christopher Anderson last year and found it to offer many insights into the shape of the current economy, which is mostly a result of the vast increase of supply as a result of the internet. This and other situations, like the decrease in price of production equipment, has caused the economy to be less hit driven and more niche focused.

Take the music industry for example. Hit songs are no longer grossing the same amount of sales as in the past. More amateurs are creating music with high-quality results due to relatively inexpensive production tools like Garage Band. They are using avenues on the Web, such as myspace.com, another cost-effective a way to promote their music to a large audience. Due to the increase of the selection of music available, listeners have gravitated from the top 10% of the hit industry to more of the niche markets, or the long tail. This phenomena is affecting a variety of areas in the current market.

Anyone have other books to share?




3 Responses

  1. Dear Valerie,

    I indeed enjoyed Long Tail as well. Lots of great examples and counter-intuitive ideas for lectures and class discussions on e-commerce. My students enjoyed it too! Thanks for sharing!


  2. I’m reading a book called “The Big Switch” by Nicholas Carr. It offers an excellent analysis on the recent shift toward utility computing, cloud computing, and virtualization. Carr uses the analogy of switching from own power generation to energy utility grids (in the early 20th century) to better understand how IT computing is now being delivered from a distance (across the Internet platform) rather than being developed internally or purchased commercially. He also discusses the economic and social implications of this revolutionary shift.

  3. Dear Valerie and Rachel
    Thanks for your inputs.I will try to find time to go through “The Long Tail” too.The other day I saw an interesting book on the story of Hewlett Packard company.The book name is “Bill and Dave” and the author is a famous journalist Malone.It makes interesting reading on the story of HP and Silicon Valley too.

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