What Makes Amazon, Apple, Facebook And Google So Special

  • Amazon: Amazon appeals to the gut, the instinct to collect and consume. It strives to give its customers the greatest value for their dollar and - importantly - their time. Jeff Bezos has publicly stated that his goal for Amazon Prime is to make it "such a great value you'd be stupid not to join". Customers can buy nearly anything on Amazon and have it delivered within 2 days for free, saving them substantial amounts of time and often, money, in the process.
  • Apple: Apple appeals to the sex drive. I kind of chuckled at first, but it is undeniably true. Apple's products drive lust from consumers, driving them to pay irrational prices when there are essentially identical products available from competitors at far lower prices. Galloway notes that no other firm in history has been able to generate luxury margins at mass-market scale like Apple has done in the past 15 years.
  • Facebook: Facebook appeals to the heart, and our need to develop and maintain social relationships. Facebook succeeded where others failed due to its requirement to use a real identity, making it more "real" and less of a playground for harassers and other unsavory behavior enabled by anonymity. With almost 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the most successful product and the largest network in the history of the world.
  • Google: Google is God. This is another eye-rolling assertion - until you consider it. Humans need for God(s) traces back to needing an explanation to unanswered questions. Early humans had gods for the harvest, for the weather, for beauty. Today, people still turn to God to answer profound questions like "how should I live my life" or "what happens to me after death". But Google aggregates the knowledge of the world and can answer most worldly questions we have. The search engine answers about 3.5 billion queries a day!

Galloway does a good job of enumerating the positives and negatives of each company. Amazon provides immense value and convenience - but at the cost of losing jobs to both robots and the ashes of industries, it tramples. Apple satisfies our urge for beautiful things - but at the cost of irrational behavior. Facebook connects us with distant family or friends long forgotten - at the cost of giving up data about our connections, interests, life history, photos, etc. Google answers almost any question we have, instantly - at the cost of following us around and knowing basically everything we search for, read about, or watch on the Internet.

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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