A Critique of Chris Anderson's Long Tail Book.

Bruce Nussbaum

Like most folks in this space, I've read a chunk of The Long Tail and a lot of commentary on it (more commentary than the book to date I'm afraid). The best analysis of the Long Tail argument I've seen yet is from Guy Kawasaki. Thanks to Andrew Hargadon's blog, A Conversation About Technology, Design and Creativity, for pointing out Kawasaki's comments to me.

My own thoughts of late have run to the difference between niche and spectacle, small and large, private and public. The reason? David Rockwell, of the Rockwell Group, has a book coming out from Phaidon Press with designer Bruce Mau (whose Massive Change exhibition is heading to Chicago and shouldn't be missed). That book is called Spectacle and is all about our need for group sharing of experiences on a large scale. I've seen the proofs and they are remarkable.

So companies can sell niche, long-tail and like that, especially in music and people want it. But people also want the block-buster movie and book, the Burning Man whatever, the baseball/soccer/basketball game, the megachurch and megamall, the theatre and restaurant experience. They want Spectacle as well as Niche. You think?

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.