The open long tail model between new culture and digital technology

  • Paola Pisano
  • Marco Pironti
  • Ioannis P. Christodoulou
Keywords: accessibility, feasibility, manufacturing industry, open business model, 3-D printing


Purpose of the paper: The aim of this paper is to describe an emerging business model that comes from the digitization of the world of tangible products.
Methodology: The creation of niche products, their production and sales in an open business model is analyzed through the literature review of bth models and sustained by the analysis of practice cases.
Findings: This new business model, defined by the authors as the open long tail model, includes the features of both the open business model and the long tail model because it sustains the collaborative trend of the web generation and creates a large number of niche, physical things rather that “just pixels on screens”.
Research limits: Given its focus on the empirical evidence from the diffusion of new digital and flexible technologies, our analysis has identified a new trend in the manufacturing industry business model that seems to have a positive effect on the organization as well as the customer.
Practical implications: The future of this emerging business model looks promising thanks to its democratization of creativity and manufacturing trajectory and its capability to create more revenue for anyone willing to undertake this venture.
Originality of the paper: This new stream of creativity, democratization and innovation is possible thanks to the open long tail model based on the new user that wants to make objects, the emergence of digital tools for design and production, the collaboration between actors.


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