The Four | Scott Galloway

Summary of: The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google
By: Scott Galloway

Introduction

Get ready to delve into the fascinating, complex world of ‘The Four’: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. Each company, a behemoth in its own right, plays a significant role in our everyday lives, filling critical needs that have transformed the way we think, connect, and consume. This summary takes you through the inner workings of these powerful organizations, shedding light on their strengths, strategies, and often questionable business practices. Prepare to look beyond their glossy exteriors to uncover the less savory aspects of their operations and the potential implications for our society.

Four Horsemen of the Digital Apocalypse

This book explores how Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon have become the Four Horsemen of the Digital Apocalypse, each fulfilling a key human need: knowledge, love, sex appeal, and consumption. While they have undoubtedly improved our lives, the author exposes the darker sides of these tech giants – tax evasion, mistreatment of employees, disregard for personal privacy, and anticompetitive practices. Read on to learn more about the potential pitfalls of relying on these companies.

Amazon’s Dominance

Amazon dominates the online market, with its growth accounting for almost half of all online company growth in the US. Its success lies in appealing to our consumerist instincts and offering a wide range of products with fast delivery. However, its success comes at the cost of job loss for competitors and its own human workforce being replaced by robots. Despite this, Amazon continues to grow and is on track to become the world’s first trillion-dollar company.

Apple’s Exceptionalism

The book examines the controversy surrounding Apple’s refusal to unlock a terrorist’s iPhone and how the tech company was able to garner public support despite defying the law. The success of Apple is due to its ability to establish itself as a luxury brand that offers stylish and elegant products. The company’s profits are thanks to its iconic founder, Steve Jobs, its simplistic but high-quality design, and its ability to sell products at premium prices. The book argues that the allure of luxury is what has cemented Apple’s extraordinary success, not its innate superiority.

The Power of Facebook

Facebook’s success can be attributed to its ability to tap into the human need for social connection while also using personal data for profit. Facebook’s algorithmic curation can also polarize society by reinforcing people’s existing views.

Google – The New Digital God

People used to put their trust in higher powers but now they rely on Google, the digital god that always has an answer. With its all-knowing, trustworthy and extremely powerful search engine, Google is becoming more of a global god. Each search query we make reveals personal information about ourselves to Google, and with 3.5 billion search queries daily, along with the data we provide through photos and emails, it’s becoming even closer to understanding who we are and what we want. This not only makes Google godly but also extremely powerful in the advertising industry, earning $36 billion in 2016 from our data alone. We confide in Google our closely guarded secrets, making it a very powerful deity, almost like a new form of worship. Gone are the days of looking up to the heavens for answers; we now devotedly turn to our screens and rely on the digital god.

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