Monday, September 19, 2005


The Long Tail

Steven Johnson's blog
pointed me to an interesting blog by Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine, subtitiled, "A public diary on the way to a book." The essense of the theory is:
The theory of the Long Tail is that our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of "hits" (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail. As the costs of production and distribution fall, especially online, there is now less need to lump products and consumers into one-size-fits-all containers. In an era without the constraints of physical shelf space and other bottlenecks of distribution, narrowly-target goods and services can be as economically attractive as mainstream fare.
So what does this mean for software development? It suggests fewer big apps with lots of features, and more hardened-web service apps that can be orchestrated with BPEL, for example.

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