Dave Emmett's Reviews > The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More

The Long Tail by Chris Anderson
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's review
Jul 05, 10

bookshelves: 2010, business, vpl
Recommended for: people who sell things
Read from June 21 to July 02, 2010

While most of the information in this book wasn't new to me, the book has been out for a few years and it's message seems to have become fairly pervasive, I found it thoroughly enjoying to read and full of insights.

The most interesting section, to me, was the chapter on "The Paradise of Choice". Obviously worded to be a jab at The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less (there's also a TED talk by that name that's worth watching), Chris proposes that the reason we have such a difficult time with extensive options isn't because choice is bad, but because we often lack sufficient information to help inform our decisions.

"The paradox of choice turned out to be more about the poverty of help in making that choice than a rejection of plenty."

On the internet, where we have access to endless options (the long tail), we can begin to receive more information about each choice, which liberates us to make an informed decision. That's why things like Amazon's "People who looked at this item also bought" features work so well: they drive people to further choices but provide them with a deeper understanding of those choices.

And the very existence of the Long Tail proves people like to have many options available to them, and they buy more when they get the information to help them sort through those endless options.


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