An Article today in the great magazine Fast Company considers the Tech wars of the Big 4 in the internet space - Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. There is a lot of strategic positioning and vision shared in the article but there is also something else - remember the barons of old who essentially owned the communities? They owned people's homes, their jobs, the company store, the medical care, the news papers, the education systems and all for the benefit of a job. These tech wars are not about simply innovative products but are for ownership of us - they have gathered info for years and are on the verge of using their knowledge of our behavior demographics, our interests and information seeking behaviors, our purchases and buying habits, our latent wants and desires As long as they stayed in their little boxes -Online retailer, Consumer electronics, Social Community and Search Engine we were pretty safe - but now...Are we willingly allowing these virtual barons to own us?
Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google don't recognize any borders; they feel no qualms about marching beyond the walls of tech into retailing, advertising, publishing, movies, TV, communications, and even finance. Across the economy, these four companies are increasingly setting the agenda. Bezos, Jobs, Zuckerberg, and Page look at the business world and justifiably imagine all of it funneling through their servers. Why not go for everything? And in their competition, each combatant is getting stronger, separating the quartet further from the rest of the pack.
Amazingly there are three barriers to the Tech War dominance and none of them are deserving of our adoration or appreciation - phone companies, credit card companies and lawyers. Oh My! Sounds way too much like Lions and Tigers and Bears to give me much comfort.
Read the article, understand the consequences of your actions and beware of wolves in sheep's clothing. AFter all, who are we going to turn to to save us - the government?
One thing is for sure - no matter which of these companies wins, the big losers are probably going to be us.
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