Monday, October 25, 2010

The Long Tail Principle and Monopolies


To continue a thought that I conveyed in a previous post - we are slowly arriving at the point, if we aren’t there already, where the iPhone is the de facto mobile development platform, in the same way that Windows is the development platform for desktop apps. In any space, the established leaders maintain their position because of the “Long Tail principle”. The rest of the competition that has been pushed to the fringes, has to pick a particular area and excel at it in order to stay relevant. The conventional wisdom is that it’s better to be everything to someone than something to everyone. This is what Bing needs to do if it is to compete with Google, how Apple has carved a niche for itself and stayed relevant despite the Microsoft juggernaut, how squashgear.com competes with Amazon, etc. Once there is an established leader, only specialty/niche-players can compete because they become everything for a small subset of the population.

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