Wednesday, March 17, 2010


The Long Tail business model seems to be rebuilding the relationship between buyer and seller. Obscurity can now compete with popularity. There is no need for a trade-off. It is cheaper to just offer everything—all products. This allows for a fuller culture with less focus on the hits. In contrast Amazon’s Get Big Fast model appears to be a one-time fling. The strategy rose and fell with the Internet-induced economic boom. It is still going strong today, but no company could successfully start now with the same strategy. There is a major point to take from Amazon, and Gillette for that matter, losing profits now can cause a worthwhile return in profits later. The Internet allows “free” and cheap to be more prominent than ever.

The Internet’s unabashed ability to cross any and all geographical limitations negates the price of shelf space. Production costs for entertainment and information are also significantly reduced through Internet use. Even services are cheaper and more convenient. The Internet doesn’t need coffee breaks, minimum wage, and can pull endless shifts. One issue that isn’t addressed in the readings is how labor will be changed. When machines become more prominent, labor transitioned into service. As computers and the web replace personal services, where will the jobs move to next? Will the jobs be fewer? More specialized?

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