Seven years after its first release, this book about the hits versus niche markets is still an essential reading (even in the comic version :-))
The modern 'Kotler' for anyone serious about today (and tomorrow) marketing.
The long tail is a manual about the way new technologies have changed old economics rules (20% of the products make 80% of the profit), retailing markets, and customers social behaviour.
In spite of the subject it is extremely enjoyable especially for the practical way of demonstrating its theories by actual examples of l businesses’ developments, i.e. amazon, ebay, wall-mart, myspace, etch
“The theory of the Long Tail is that our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of “hits” (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail. As the costs of production and distribution fall, especially online, there is now less need to lump products and consumers into one-size-fits-all containers. In an era without the constraints of physical shelf space and other bottlenecks of distribution, narrowly-target goods and services can be as economically attractive as mainstream fare.”
Anderson makes a valid and interesting argument about a business model that is quickly gaining ground. I only think he could 've made his point in 100 pages, too.