Order it wrong and choice is oppressive; order it right and it's liberating.
The world of shelf space is a zero-sum game: One product displaces another.
Broadly, the Long Tail is about abundance. Abundant shelf space, abundant distribution, abundant choice.
We are entering an era of unprecedented choice. And that's a good thing.
We are turning from a mass market back into a niche nation, defined now not by our geography but by our interests.
And this is one way to do technology forecasting; get a sense of where technology is, and then anticipate the next upturn.
The first stage in a technology's advance is that it'll fall below a critical price. After it falls below a critical price, it will tend, if it's successful, to rise above a critical mass, a penetration.
Free is really, you know, the gift of Silicon Valley to the world. It's an economic force, it's a technical force. It's a deflationary force, if not handled right. It is abundance, as opposed to scarcity.
In an era without the constraints of physical shelf space and other bottlenecks of distributions, narrowly targeted goods and services can be as economically attractive as mainstream fare.
Blockbusters are the exception, not the rule, and yet we see an entire industry through their rarefied air.
A Long Tail is just culture unfiltered by economic scarcity.
The Web is the ultimate marketplace of ideas, governed by the laws of big numbers.