4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A mixed bag,
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This review is from: The Long Tail: How Endless Choice is Creating Unlimited Demand (Paperback)I finished this book sometime ago, but had to ponder for a while before writing about it. My dilemma revolves around two points. First, it is an interesting, well written, read. Second, the evidence presented is entirely anecdotal.
Anderson's thesis is very simple. The rise of businesses like Amazon and eBay, coupled with the interpersonal communication facilities afforded by the Internet, has effectively created unlimited demand. He argues that he has identified a business opportunity to make a profit in niche areas that were not previously profitable.
The explanation given is fairly simple. The development of the Internet means that more people have access to minority items, and the development of filtering technology, especially collaborative filtering technology, means that people can identify material they are interested in more easily.
The concept is seductive and well argued. Unfortunately, more recent research (the book was published several years ago) is not really supporting the idea. Not only that, but I have been unable to find any examples of successful businesses just based on the long tail model. As the Western world slides into a recession of the next year or so, it will soon become clear whether this is yet another idea from the digeratii which is based on the assumption that the good times will last for ever, or contains some real meat.
Five stars for entertainment value. One star for lack of research!