What Makes Amazon, Apple, Facebook And Google So Special

Galloway also talks about how each of the companies got to where they are today. Each took a slightly different path, and each are fascinating to hear about. I won't go into too much detail and spoil the read. Suffice to say that Galloway's chapters on each of these stocks individually were the best parts of the book.

The Rest

Aside from an intro chapter and chapters on each of the 4 companies, Galloway also devotes chapters to "what it takes to get to a trillion", "who might be the next horseman", and "how to position your skills in the age of the 4 horsemen".

Of these, I found the first 2 the most interesting. Galloway has 7 traits a company must have to reach a $1 trillion valuation (I won't spoil them here). On the next horseman, he lists some potential other companies that may make it to $1 trillion, as they have the traits necessary. Some of the companies he mentioned you can probably guess, but some of them came as a surprise to me. As an example, Galloway does not think Microsoft has what it takes to reach $1 trillion (despite its current $600 billion valuations). However, he does believe that Elon Musk's Tesla (TSLA) has many of the traits required to get there, over time. At first, this sounds kinda silly, but the case is compelling.

The Bad

Overall, I enjoyed The Four. It is a good read for anyone interested in business, in investing, or in any of the 4 companies profiled.

However, there were things in the book that I didn't like.

Galloway's chapter "The Four and You" was intended as a road-map for young people to follow in order to "succeed" in the age of the 4. I found his advice rote, unimaginative, and very in-the-box. Read for yourself, but the advice here basically boils down to "join a lot of clubs, go to Harvard, and get straight A's" - otherwise you won't get a job at the 4, but some second-rate company, presumably where you will struggle to make ends meet.

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Disclosure: Steve owns no stocks referenced here.

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Barry Hochhauser 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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