Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
umair haque  


Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Chris Anderson on the Long Tail - essentially, a heightened tail for the typical power-law demand distribution of goods in a product market. Very, very interesting stuff.

I think he actually catches the fundamental driver, but misses it's importance a lil bit. Hit-driven economies are a function of marketing costs. Let's think about music. Marketing costs spiralled because of arms races for consumers' attention. But now, consumers are erasing marketers from many parts of the picture. When will more people find their music thru playlists than via the radio/mtv/etc?

Put another way, how many people made less than optimal listening choices in, say, the 80s, simply because they didn't know of better music? Remember, information across all markets used to be really hard to get. So the Long Tail is a necessary result of search economies. Here's another Wired piece that should provide a vivid demonstration.

Now, I think a really interesting application of this piece is to think about a Long Tail outside media industries. The rise of global labor hypercompetition, ie, outsourcing, is, partly, a Long Tail effect.

This is a great piece. Highly recommended.

-- umair // 10:25 AM // 0 comments


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