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


 
Monday, January 03, 2005


Long Tail Thoughts

The LT is essentially a synthesis of a great dialectic of the last ten years - the shift from mass production (and mass marketing, etc) to personalization (aka mass customization).

You can think of two distributions of features of goods in a given product market, one at either end of a spectrum. We could call this spectrum production space. But first, let's assume that each consumer in this population has totally different preferences - no two share the same preference.

The first distribution is where everyone in a product market can only buy the same good - total homogeneity. Think of Model T's in 19xx. The second is where everyone receives exactly the good that matches their preferences - total heterogeneity. Think of...uhh...sci-fi books.

The second distribution is mass customization - what we thought the econ of the 21st century would look like. The first is mass production - driven by the standard economics of industrial production techniques (economies of scale, scope, etc) - what the 19th and 20th centuries looked like.

The LT is cool because it gives a more accurate of what the future econ of the 21st century is probably really gonna look like - not true mass customization, but a significant shift towards that end of the production possibility space.


-- umair // 1:42 PM // 0 comments


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