The writer starts off by providing an example of an autobiographical book called “Touching the Void” written by British mountain climber Joe Simpson that became popular a decade later. I found the example interesting in the sense that somehow the success of the book was delayed and became a sleeper hit after people stumbled upon it while looking through their Amazon recommendations.

The power of unlimited selection is revealing what the consumer wants. By giving the people the power to search and browse through collection stores such as iTunes, Netflix and Barnes & Noble, customers usually end up discovering their taste that is hidden from the mainstream.

The disadvantage I took notice of was the physics of the physical world. Everything has a limit to what can be broadcasted for consumers – radio spectrum can carry only a limited amount of stations and a TV channel can only air 24 hours per day of programming.

The old world of “scarcity” had limitations on economics in terms of not having enough room “to carry everything for everybody.” There were no space for books, movies and TV programs to exist in their own medium, it was simply too abundant. Thanks to the introduction of online distribution and retail, consumers are entering a world of “abundance.”

The 80-20 rule is a guideline to determine the amount of “hits” a certain object to become successful in its own field. Only 20% of Hollywood studio films will be hits. Same goes for TV shows, games and mass-market books, only 20% will become popular as a “hit”.

The Long Tail, from what I could get from the reading, is finding the stuff that is the “true taste” of consumers that is hidden from the mainstream world of music, TV and film. Anderson states that the abundance of the Long Tail is vast, most of which could be mostly made of “crap”. The writer explains that by looking at the Long Tail from a bigger picture and combining the non-hits of the Long Tail, the market is actually bigger than the hits and has more potential.

Anderson ends with the idea of the Long Tail business treats consumers as individuals by offering customization as a different service to the mass-market business model.