Books Business Technology

The Four

Author: Scott Galloway

My Rating: 4/5

Summary: The Four reveals the dark side and monopolistic practices of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. It presents a thought-provoking and insightful analysis of how these companies have become the most powerful and influential forces in our society

My Takeaways

Amazon’s core competency is storytelling

Amazon has replaced profits with vision and growth

History favors the bold. 

Amazon is not afraid to try and fail at their 2 initiatives. 

Failure and invention are inseparable twins

Apple is in constant pursuit of making products simple. 

Apple is different from other tech companies because it has positioned itself as the first luxury brand in tech

It’s easier for Facebook to target the outliers then it is for Facebook to recommend content for moderates calm and reasonable content. 

Products traditionally target the brain, heart or genitals

Luxury brands are easier to speak to others. 

Apple promotes its products as making you better than your computers. 

The t algorithm help companies evaluate how to spend their capital

  1. Product differentiation: More value in removing steps than adding value. 
  2. Visionary capital: The ability to attract cheap capital with a bold vision that’s easy to understand 
  3. Go global – grow at scale
  4. Likeability
    1. The less likeable the company, the quicker to antitrust lawsuits and dragging companies into court
    2. Perception is reality
  5. Vertical integration: Control the consumer experience and distribution.
    1. Bad distribution is a bad customer experience, so companies should control the point of purchase.
    2. Apple moving into retail as an example
  6. AI: Technology from human input to improve the offering – making it personal and improving the product for current and future customers.
    1. Behavioral targeting is crucial to marketing
    2. Data is the fuel for big business
  7. Accelerate a company’s ability to attract top talent. For every 4 things your asked to do, propose one crazy idea that hasn’t been asked. Play offense

Four companies – Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google – pervade modern life, and their presence isn’t purely benevolent.

Amazon appeals to our natural stuff-gathering instincts, but it’s also killing competition and decimating jobs.

Apple makes its own rules and, as a luxury brand, appeals to our desire to be special.

Facebook capitalizes on our need for social relations, selling our data and denying responsibility for its content.

Google is the modern-day God – omniscient, omnipotent and completely trustworthy.

The Four Horsemen are cunning thieves, and they rob us by appealing to our hearts, brains and lusts.

8 factors will combine to create the first trillion-dollar company.

Companies like Alibaba, Uber or Microsoft could well become the fifth horseman.

To succeed in the world of the Four, develop your personality, educate yourself, move to a city and pimp your career.

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