Finished The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

I’ve waited way to long to finally read this book but it’s better late than never.  It’s surprising to think about this book being kind of old, it was published in 2006.  For technology almost 9 years is ancient but remove a few old businesses like Rhapsody and replace them with Spotify, and this book doesn’t miss a beat.

There are three main observations about The Long Tail:

  1. The tail of variety is far longer than we realize.
  2. It’s now within reach economically.
  3. All these niches when aggregated can make up a significant market.

The economic theory Chris is presenting is that, “Basically everything you put out there finds demand.”

Chris didn’t create these rules, he’s just observed them in the marketplace.  The Long Tail is being used almost everywhere.

  • Google – advertising
  • Amazon – started in books but now it’s in almost every long tail.
  • iTunes – music

The Long Tail economics is not just for internet companies.  Have you ever been waiting in ling at Trader Joes and wondered who eats the Jalapeño, Almond, Sea Salt, 95% Cocoa Chocolate Bar they are selling.  Well someone is buying it because it’s the long tail of chocolate.  Walk into Whole Foods and you’ll get to see some long tails of the most basic products like flour.

You probably have heard about most of the information in this book before. I think it’s worth the read because it was really the first book of its kind to talk about the new economics of the internet.