THE LONG TAIL by former editor of WIRED, CHRIS ANDERSON, makes a provocative argument: With no shelf space to pay for and, in the case of purely digital services like iTunes, no manufacturing costs and minimal distribution fees, a hit and a miss are on equal economic footing, both just entries in a database called up on demand. Suddenly, popularity no longer has a monopoly on profitability.
In FREAKONOMICS, STEVEN LEVITT and co-author STEPHEN DUBNER make that point that economics is, at root, the study of incentives - how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. They explore the inner workings of a crack gang, the myths of campaign finance., the telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher, the secrets of the Ku Klux Klan. You get the idea.