Cornered in Clouds — Understanding our present tech landscape
In the valley that prides in birthing king slayers, what if the kings can no longer be slain?
“How do you compete with a giant that doesn’t want to make money?” — Mickey Drexler
Sitting at the top of the tech food chain, the five most valuable companies in the world: Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Facebook, have come to form the Tech Oligopoly. The members of this tech oligopoly are the largest lobbyists and political donors in Washington. They have more financial resources than several nation states. Their products and services have transformed our society. They have network effects that provide them with an enormous competitive edge and allow them to operate at a scale that startups cannot. They are actively improving their strategic advantages through research and acquisitions (DeepMind, LinkedIn, Siri, Github, Instagram, YouTube, Whatsapp, Android). If they are unable to buy a startup, they copy all of its innovations. They have venture capital arms through which they secure equity in many successful startups. Consider Amazon’s strategy to reinvest in its business and sacrifice profits for the long-term, fundamentally reinventing the game as a loss leader.