I didn’t ask Alexa who Scott Galloway was, but I did happen to Google him because our persistent professors at the University of Melbourne kept mentioning how he’s the ultimate marketing guru. With my last semester almost out of the way, I took the opportunity to use time spent on my commute to read Scott Galloway’s The Four.
Best. Decision. Ever.
In his book, not only does Scott give a closer look into how The Four giant companies operate, he also gives a fresh, candid outlook on how technology has redefined social, search, brand, and retail.
One of the many interesting elements in the book is how he describes the men behind The Four, their drive and what seemed like madness at the time – their sheer determination to change how billions of people would use technology to make their everyday lives more convenient. The opinions I have about the four – Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple – have significantly become stronger after I read this book – further stroking my curiosity to see the next steps they take to stay at the top of their game.
I got to learn heaps about Amazon since it isn’t as big in India as it is in the US. Funnily enough, around the same time I was reading the book, Walmart invested $16 billion in Flipkart, an Indian e-commerce unicorn, which is, coincidentally, the worth of Amazon India. The author extensively elaborates on Amazon’s DNA and its relationship with its shareholders. While the success of this giant is attributed to our primitive need to gather things plus the convenience to shop from just about anywhere that e-commerce provides, Scott makes it abundantly clear how pure e-commerce is dangerous – not to mention how being at the mercy of Google is a terrible, terrible idea. This, I think, is a red flag for any business that primarily relies on this other giant – Google – to generate leads.
I am very proud of the fact that I do not fall for this third giant that Scott talks about in his book. I am not an Apple person. However, I was intrigued by how the author explained the magnitude of Apple’s success owing to its iconic founder, artisanship, vertical integration, global reach, and its premium price. I also agree with Scott’s expectation for Apple to be the (bigger) giant and invest in (you’ll have to read the book for this one) vs develop another cool phone screen.
Surprisingly, Scott wrote about Facebook’s unwillingness to take any responsibility for the amount of misinformation on this ‘social network’ platform way before its public hearing. In Scott’s words, Facebook truly has committed involuntary manslaughter of the truth on an unprecedented scale. Only time will tell how The Four either righteously rule the digital world or fall by the hands of their competitors.
From using his T-algorithm to predict the next giant in line, to learning what it takes to stand out of the crowd – by the end of his book, I couldn’t help but wish I was sitting in one of his marketing classes at the New York University Stern School of Business. Scott’s book is an extremely entertaining approach to the digital world – perfect for every marketing and communications student and professional.