Google is a new god.
When we want the answers, instead of looking up, we look down. Instead of asking life’s big questions to an ever-silent deity on high, it’ snow more convenient to Google them.
Facebook is a new place to love.
What once was only found at home or among friends, we can love and connect with over a billion people on Facebook.
Apple is a new status symbol.
iPhone and Macs aren’t technically better than Android and Windows counterparts. But they’re sexier. And in Apple’s language, simple is sexy.
Amazon is a new temple of consumption.
Mega warehouses and even brick-and-mortar stores now, bring us everything we could possibly want from fiction to food to fashion.
The Four ubiquity has certainly changed the world.
- Today Amazon has become the default search engine for most products.
- Apple has become the most profitable company in history.
- Facebook has garnered 1.2 billion visitors daily.
- Google has become a modern-day ever-flowing fountain of knowledge.
Sure, they’re making the world a better place. But there’s more to this than meets the eyes.
- Amazon not only refuses to pay sales taxes but is known for mistreating its employees.
- Apple refused to release information that federal agents needed even under court orders.
- Facebook is notorious for selling our personal information.
- Google aggressively lobbies and litigates against regulation of its anticompetitive practices.
Despite of its sheer size and profits, Amazon doesn’t necessarily create jobs.
If you ever wonder why there’re so few pictures of Amazon warehouses, it’s because the human workforce is increasingly being replaced by robots and automation. On top of that, Amazon has an infinite capital to put any potential threats out of business.
When Apple defies to obey the court order to unlock the terrorist’s iPhone, people hail them as cool guys.
Apple symbolize innovation and coolness, and these qualities somehow put Apple above the law.
Apple has 3 things in common with other luxury brands like Porsche and Prada.
- It has an iconic founder.
- It expresses its artisanship via the simplicity of its design.
- Despite being a low-cost producer, Apple sells its products at premium prices.
How is it that a start-up that’s just over a decade old has as many devotees as one of the largest religions?
Facebook relies on our need to be social. Being able to reconnect with an old friend from high school, exchange messages with an out-of-town pal, and scroll through photos of our best friends’ newborn baby can provide us with an extremely satisfying sensation of sociality.
Facebook harnesses personal data to turn our lives into profits.
Facebook’s unparalleled advertising engine can piece together our personal data and behavior to allow advertisers to more accurately target their niche.
Facebook positions itself as a ‘platform’ rather than a ‘media’ to limit liability.
Facebook refuses to take any responsibility for any content on its site, claiming they’re a platform that just happens to present the content. How ridiculous would it be if MacDonald’s to refuse liability of a rotten meat because it’s just a fast food chain, not a livestock?
Google has become a modern-day place to say our confessions.
We aren’t afraid to ask Google anything and therefore there’s nothing it doesn’t know about us. Each question is a sort of confession. We trust Google with our most closely guarded secrets that we’d normally hide from our doctors, friends, family and priests. This makes Google an information powerhouse and gives Google nearly a total understanding of who we are and what we want. And like wine, Google will only get better with age. When it comes to ad industry, Google certainly is godly.
There’re 8 factors at play in creating the first trillion-dollar company.
- Product differentiation
- Visionary capital
- Global reach
- Vertical integration
- Artificial intoplicine
- Top talents
- Geography (the four are all located nearby prestigious university, Stanford, UC Berkeley… allowing them to recruit only the best and the brightest)
Who might be the Fifth Horsemen?
Although it’s the world’s largest retailer, it doesn’t have any global reach. Though popular in China, Alibaba is still far from a household name elsewhere. Chinese government stands between Alibaba and international scale. It’s unlikely investors and top tier talents in the West would back Alibaba.
With a fleet of 2-million drivers in about 80 countries, Uber certainly has a global influence. Uber also attracts investors and possess data skills to rival the Four. Still the former CEO Kalanick was known as an asshole and was eventually forced to resign. So for Uber, likability factor may just be the only thing standing in the way.
Walmart has decades more experience than Amazon and has 12,000 stores that are also warehouses and customer service centers. But like Uber, Walmart is often seen as destructive to small businesses and its own workforce, paying only minimum wage.
At the helm of the new young CEO, Microsoft is another company with a huge chance of success. Windows still claims a huge chunk of desktop operating system, and LinkedIn still is unrivalled in professional networking platform.
Develop 3 qualities to shape your personality, if you want to be success in the age of the Four.
- Emotional maturity
And shout your awesomeness to the world.
Setup a Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube profiles. The Four have shaped the world we live in. Now it’s your turn to understand how the world works and make it work for you.
Logistics is a down and dirty business, unless you’re Amazon.
The biggest component of that cost comes from labour, unloading and loading the ship sand the paperwork. Amazon can deploy hardware, robotics and software to reduce these costs. Combined with the company’s fledgling aircraft fleet, this could prove another huge business for Amazon.
Between drones, tractor trailing, trans-pacific shipping and retired military generals who oversaw the world’s most complex logistics operations, submarines and aircraft carriers, Amazon is building the most robust logistics infrastructure in history. DHL, FedEx and UPS are worth a combined 120b$. Much of these values will leek to Amazon as consumers trust Amazon more.
Yes, Zuckerberg, Jobs and Gates all dropped out of College, but you’re not them.
And while none of them graduated, their college experience was still instrumental in their success. Facebook went viral among college students because it grew out of a real need on campus. Gates spent three years intensely studying math and programming before he starts at Microsoft. And he met Steve Ballmer there, the man to whom he turned over the reins of Microsoft a quarter century later.
And even Jobs who passed through Reed college in adolescent days famously had his passion for design sparked there.