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Michael D. Smith
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I am one of the co-authors (along with Erik Brynjolfsson and Jeffrey Hu) an early study on this phenomenon at MIT, and a fan of Chris's research and writing. I completely agree with Albert: Let's not get so focused on which % is the right one that we forget about the big picture in terms of the economy and society. It seems to me that we can be sure of the following things: (1) Amazon and other Internet retailers stock a whole lot more products than what you can find in brick-and-mortar stores, (2) sales of these products are high in online markets, (3) the impact of this increased product variety on both consumers and producers is substantial. So whether it's x% or y%, we are still talking about an important phenomenon that is changing how products are produced, marketed, and consumed. That's the real story here.
Toggle Commented Aug 1, 2006 on Backlash coda at The Long Tail
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