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19 posts from July 2010

The Glance for July 31, 2010: Chris Anderson on why The Long Tail argument started

We are still trying to figure out just how we can profit from the 'long tail,' but there's no denying Chris Anderson recognized a shift in the marketplace.

Wired: The Long Tail, 2004-Oct, by Chris Anderson

Hit-driven economics is a creation of an age without enough room to carry everything for everybody. Not enough shelf space for all the CDs, DVDs, and games produced. Not enough screens to show all the available movies. Not enough channels to broadcast all the TV programs, not enough radio waves to play all the music created, and not enough hours in the day to squeeze everything out through either of those sets of slots.

This is the world of scarcity. Now, with online distribution and retail, we are entering a world of abundance. And the differences are profound.

The potato chip fights back

Lay's is kicking off a nationwide experiential tour featuring the company's potato farmers.


PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division is sinking a lot of money into this program, but it looks sensible. I don't enjoy wearing potato chips on my middle-aged hips, but I really appreciate Frito-Lay focusing on the community. They're also donating plants to community gardens.

The Glance for July 27, 2010: on why working hard matters more than great ideas

From Hugh Macleod's Ignore Everybody (2009)

So if somebody wants to rip my idea off, go ahead. If somebody wants to overtake me in the business card doodle wars, go ahead. You’ve got many long years in front of you. And unlike me, you won’t be doing it for the joy of it. You’ll be doing it for some self-loathing, ill-informed, lame-ass mercenary reason. So the years will be even longer and far, far more painful. Lucky you.
If somebody in your industry is more successful than you, it’s probably because he works harder at it than you do. Sure, maybe he’s more inherently talented, more adept at networking etc, but I don’t consider that an excuse. Over time, that advantage counts for less and less. Which is why the world is full of highly talented, network-savvy, failed mediocrities.

The Glance for July 26, 2010: David Siegel on how the web requires companies to behave differently

David Siegel has a new book out, The Power of Pull, and I haven't read it yet, but reading about it made me nostalgic for the early days of Fast Company magazine, where I read this excerpt of this book, "Futurize Your Enterprise: Business Strategy in the Age of the E-Customer" (Wiley, 1999)

The Web gives customers what they've always wanted: a chance to express themselves, to get honest answers to their questions, and to share their interests and passions with other customers. And it requires every company to behave differently -- to let information flow freely, to participate in genuine conversations with customers, and to treat customers not as 'segments' or 'categories' or 'eyeballs,' but as human beings.

My hero, Peg Bracken: 50 years of love for 'The I Hate to Cook Book'

I've always appreciated Peg Bracken. She wrote wonderful prose about leaving housework behind for 'real life.'

Fifty years ago Peg Bracken sat down and did a revolutionary thing. She wrote a cookbook for women who hated to cook.

She was on to something. It became an American classic. Three million copies later, the book is back with a 50th-anniverary edition