As a consumer, I've been delighted with the recent explosion of choices. As a retailer, I've been struggling to take advantage of new technologies to satisfy an expanded internet market.
This book puts the changing business climate into a historical and conceptual perspective that makes sense. They never taught us this in college in the 80's, but today they'd better teach it to business students, because success and survival in today's marketplace requires an understanding of the process described in this book.
Some people understand some of these mechanisms intuitively or hazily, based on their own observations and that may be enough, but seeing the whole concept outlined so clearly, with so many examples is enlightening and inspiring.
I've almost finished listening to this book; I think I'm saving it so it doesn't end. It's been revealing and meaningful, well put-together, well narrated, and empowering to those of us at the really thin end of the long tail.
One of it's messages, about the importance of our ability to filter, to search, and to use peer recommendations to find related and relevant content, has changed the way I evaluate web sites (including this one) and led me to post this review.
I really enjoyed the thorough explanation and analysis of this book. Chris does a great job of breaking down the long tail and how it's a very viable market for large and small businesses alike. As a small business owner myself, it's encouraging to know that you don't have to do what the big boys do to grow your business and provide a service that your clients enjoy.
Though the subject matter is interesting, and the observations made insightful, the fact that the edition performed for Audible has not been updated since written in 2006 makes this audiobook almost unlistenable. Think about how much has changed regarding the internet since LAST YEAR, let alone almost a decade. Constant references are made to things like MySpace, Paris Hilton, Sidekick Phones and Yahoo Radio. I felt like I was reading a history textbook from the 1950's.
No mention of Twitter, no mention of Facebook, no mention of e-books, (though Borders is mentioned several times...) NO MENTION OF THE IPHONE SINCE IT HADN'T COME OUT YET. It's difficult to concentrate on something on a book that makes thrilling revelations like "Soon companies like Netflix may make thousands of titles from their DVD library available for immediate digital delivery".
I'm ever so slightly paraphrasing the sentence above, (I didn't have time to go back and transcribe the actual line) but I assure you it's pretty damned close to the literal line in the performance. Worth listening to, but just be aware that you're going to be doing a lot of groaning and eye-rolling if you haven't been living under a digital rock for the last 8 years or so.