The Long Tail – Chris Anderson
The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More – Chris Anderson
Got the comic first, and enjoyed it enough to get the actual book.
Very interesting, deals with the idea that the internet has done away with the system of hits, and opened up a huge market of niches. That even if iTunes only sells one or two of each of the millions of tracks in its inventory per month or even year, that is still a huge number. Stores were previously restricted by physical space and could only carry a small number of books, records, what have you, and ones that they knew had a decent chance of selling in order to cover their costs. But if everything is digital, bits rather than atoms, retailers can carry a massive number of niche products. Which for the consumer is great, but.....how many people are actually employed by iTunes or Amazon versus how many were employed by record stores? A decade ago, thousands of people were employed by newspapers dealing with want ads. Now Craigslist has decimated all those jobs. I read a while back that they pull in tens, hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and employ....about thirty people. Facebook, as fun as it may be for us, makes billions. But how many people do they actually employ?