Scott Galloway is a professor at New York University Stern School of Business teaching brand strategy and digital marketing. He has started nine firms and his weekly YouTube series has generated millions of views. Scott is also author of “The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.”
Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are arguably the most influential entities in the world. These companies have deconstructed who humans are as a species and reassembled who humans are, in the form of for-profit companies. They have scaled up so fast and become so successful by understanding humans most common questions and producing answers instantly. Scott breaks down the specific reasons each of these companies have individually thrived: Google = God, Facebook = Love, Amazon = Consumption, and Apple = Sex.
Mediocre and cheap products have been pushed in years past. However, people have new tools allowing them to practice due diligence and find what product is best for them personally. A better product is the best and only way to brand in today’s marketplace. With customer reviews built into Google and Amazon, they have changed the entire course of how people buy.
These four companies have done a lot of good, but have they become so big that they have become bad for society? In some ways, they are leveraging their power to unhealthy heights. Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google yield more money and more power than some foreign governments. This has allowed them certain privileges such as tax avoidance and immunity to government oversight. What is another negative? Amazon has literally sucked the oxygen out of other top companies such as Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Sears. Facebook and Google have taken over the digital marketing world. If you are not working with Facebook or Google, then you are marketing with newspapers or magazine — rapidly declining markets. Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are not only in zero sum markets, they are creating zero competitors.
What are some great leadership qualities from these top companies? Jeff Bezos, for example, has always kept a long term outlook on consumption rather than short-term. He also has combined fast and free service. Tim Cook has tripled the value of Apple. Apple is the first company in history to have great quality and spend extremely low on production. Facebook has shown tremendous agility in their management. Michael and Scott finish the conversation talking government, and how these companies yield their power in the political arena.
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