Nice contrarian piece by John Quelch here.
Rather than looking to exploit newly available niches down the tail, he suggests you focus on blockbusters – the megahit.
While it's an interesting response to the same observed feature of the world that technology is allowing us to see (and serve) – the long tail distribution – it occurs to me that Quelch's advice is riskier than it seems. Of course, most of us would like to have the blockbuster (or think we would…see below)
So what makes it risky? Long tail distributions exhibit a pattern which suggests that random copying underpins things.
This means popularity – the blockbuster phenomenon itself – is inherently unpredictable and volatile.
And as Duncan Watts has shown, things come and go – rewinding the tape produces a different winner in the same circumstances
So however good your "thing" is, you need to place a lot bets to get your winner (much Hollywood used to do…)
Also – and I'm seeing more and more examples of this – I'm not sure that everyone wants to build the really BIG success: it's hard to handle extraordinary success and takes you away from doing what you really love