Steve Yastrow wants to be part of the fragmented, interesting marketplace described in The Long Tail.
Steve, you already are part of that marketplace - and a Wal-Mart/ Sam's Club-only Billboard #1 does no longer challenge the new business world we live in!
I have to admit that Chris Anderson's volume is with the growing pile of 'I already had a short look, but definitely want to read it cover to cover as soon as I have time' books on my living room floor - so please correct me if I'm wrong:
My understanding of the curve was always: Products that are in low demand or have low sales volume can collectively make up a market share that rivals or exceeds the relatively few current bestsellers and blockbusters. Collectively.
The y-axis depicts some sort of sales or offer volume. Many products combined in the tail, i.e. the area between the curve and the x-axis can compete with a small number of bestsellers - a much narrower area in the front part of the curve. Nevertheless there will always be the high-volume record, the bestselling one movie, or the hyped author.
But: The new business world allows a low-volume/ -budget/ non-major product to start at the very right end and move to the front, e.g. by viral or seed marketing: Technology-supported global word-of-mouth.
That's good news. Don't be scared.
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