Together we are stronger than our parts. The long tail just keeps getting longer with ideogoras. The idea of collective thinking is not a new one but with the internet the collaboration is much larger than ever before. I love the idea of InnoCentive. There are so many great minds out there and so many things to be discovered. The right mind with the right problem can help find a solution. A company can employ many scientists but who’s to say that they are able to solve the particular problem that faces them. Think of all the diseases that might be cured with the right scientist working on it. This is a much greater possibility with more brainpower. Medications that might not have made it to market due to financial reasons might be able to help save lives.


The other interesting thing is that the first people that you go to might not be the only ones with ideas. Look at the example of Goldcorp. The company was in financial trouble so they sent out a call for help across the web. They expected geologists to respond since they were looking for gold pockets but had a much larger response. Yes, geologists did respond, but so did mathematicians and students. While geologists might see the facts one way others can bring new ideas that the normal players may never have thought of. They can help shake things up. With the information that they received GoldCorp was able to pull itself out of a slump by yielding gold in over 80% of the web responders proposed sights. is also an exciting idea. So many patents go to waste. Ideas sit on shelves and don’t get developed. No one else can work on them since someone else has ownership. Why not sell the ideas, make a profit, and get a new product out there? Smaller niche markets also get into the swing of things. Ideas that they might not have the money to produce might see their way to market. They can also find patents that are specific to their clientel and save money on research and development. A smaller company doesn’t have the same manpower as larger corporations but might have the ability to marry a product with its market. Again this just keeps growing the tail.


I couldn’t help thinking about The Wisdom of Crowds while reading Wikinomics. The whole is smarter than any of the individuals making up the group. Wikinomics really hits on this idea so the two go hand in hand.

The Tail Keeps Wagging

January 31, 2008

 About 6 years ago someone that I was dating mentioned a television show that he loved. It was called Lancelot Link Secret Chimp. I’d never heard of this program but I figured if I looked on the internet I could find a copy. Sure enough ebay had one for $15. Now I can’t say the show impressed me but to each his own and there it was for the taking. At that point in time I wasn’t thinking about The Long Tail I just knew that I could find it online. Back then I was taking the internet for granted. It was something that I didn’t know much about but it usually delivered what I wanted. Now when I search for Lancelot Link I can find tons of clips on Youtube. Apparently he wasn’t the only one who missed the show. Six years ago Youtube didn’t even exist.


When it came to reading this book I was using the concept of The Long Tail without even knowing it. I searched online to find it as an audio book for my ipod. I came across a site called Audible that had it for only $8 and it was mac compatible. I happily listened my way through the book while fighting traffic to and from work. It was great getting something accomplished while sitting in the car.


I’ve just been enjoying the fruits of the internet without thinking twice about it. Kind of like it’s hard to remember what things were like without the microwave. The internet just is. In fact lots of times it’s easier to shop online than at a store. No crowds, the right size, the right color, and the product is in stock. As long as shipping is included we’re golden. When I stop to think about it boy is it a good thing. I don’t have to settle for what’s on the shelves because somewhere out there in net land is exactly what I want. Unfortunately not all retail stores have the same taste as I do and with the internet they don’t have to.

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