This episode of Akimbo, Hitsville, from Seth Godin is worth a listen.
In it, Godin explains Zipf’s Law.
Zipf’s Law essentially states that the most popular X (movie, book, song, website, word) will be twice as popular as the second most popular X.
It will be three times as popular as the third most popular X, four times as popular as the fourth most popular…and so on.
This blew my mind when it was explained in regard to Blockbuster vs. Netflix and Barnes and Noble vs. Amazon explaining the “long-tail” of the retail business.
In short, Netflix and Amazon found out that 50% of their sales were from movies and books that their retail counterparts did not even carry, due to the physical limits of shelf space.
Take a listen: