What Makes Amazon, Apple, Facebook And Google So Special

Few would argue that the four most successful companies of modern times - at least from an American perspective - are Amazon.com (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), and Alphabet (GOOG) - better known as Google.

All four have market capitalizations of above $500 billion dollars, making them 4 of the top 5 largest publicly traded corporations in the world (Microsoft (MSFT) is the other one). All four continue to post impressive revenue growth, defying the laws of large numbers. All four are a big part of billions of users' daily lives in a way that few companies in history have ever been. All four have immense competitive advantages that make competing with them directly in their target markets business suicide. And they represent 4 of the top 10 global brands.

They are some of the greatest business stories of all time.

But how did they get here? What makes them so special? Why do we come back, again and again, to give them ever larger amounts of our time and money?

And what are the risks of their continued market dominance?

These are the questions that business professor Scott Galloway sat out to answer in his recent book, The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google.

MagicDiligence recently had a chance to read the book and wanted to share some thoughts on Galloway's insights, how it might be able to help us in investing and, maybe, in life.

The Companies

At the heart of the book is an analysis of how each company got to their dominant position, the pros and cons of their dominance, and the risks and consequences to society of it.

All 4 of the profiles are quite interesting and thought-provoking, with a bit different perspective than you may have considered before. The author believes that each of these firms could eventually be the first to a $1 trillion market valuation. One notable takeaway from these are Galloway's evaluation of these firms' basic appeal to the basic natural behaviors and need of human beings:

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Disclosure: Steve owns no stocks referenced here.

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Barry Hochhauser 1 year ago Member's comment

There is something magical about #Apple, #Amazon, #Facebook and #Google. Did the author provide any insight into any other companies? $AAPL $AMZN $FB $GOOGL

Ayelet Wolf 1 year ago Member's comment

I of course agree, but I do think that Galloway's explanations for that success sounds far too simplistic.

Frank Underwood 1 year ago Member's comment

Since when does #Facebook require people use their real identities? There's millions of fake users. Heck, you can buy like 100,000 facebook likes for $5 online.

David P. Goldsmith 1 year ago Member's comment

I think the author means when #Facebook first launched, and you could only join if you were a student and had a legitimate.edu account. I agree that set them apart from MySpace. MySpace was first but quickly devolved into a wildwest for perverts and predators.

Now however, I would say that Facebook has followed the same path. Of course if they stuck to their.edu requirement, they would be a fraction of the size and somewhat elitist. $FB

Ayelet Wolf 1 year ago Member's comment

Sounds like an interesting read. But it doesn't sound like it answers the deeper questions. For example, I agree that #Apple creates a form of lust in it's loyal customers, to, as you said, "driving them to pay irrational prices when there are essentially identical products available from competitors at far lower prices." But HOW has Apple achieved this? Yes, #Amazon has built itself up from an upstart book seller, to essentially being able to provide for every aspect of our lives. but HOW did they manage to achieve this? Every other book seller is now either still just selling books, or out of business all together. $AAPL $AMZN $FB $GOOGL