Tell me something I don’t know. I am lost and don’t know where to go. Help me to connect with my different groups of friends separately. Help me set up an easy to use and business appropriate email. Show me pictures of the people and places I ask you to show me. Keep me up to date with the news. Translate this document for me. Help me create and organize my documents and allow me to access them anytime. Let me search and watch millions of videos online. Give me a browser that is faster, safer, and easier. Show me the Earth from a satellite. Analyze my ROI and help me track my social networking and advertisement success. Allow me to access the most up-to-date stock market news and handle my investment portfolios. Let me see the world through a new lens, with glasses that can help me to organize and live my life.
I googled: google.com, and the above programs came up in the first two result pages. I googled google.com because that was
their original function; that was their comparative advantage (what they did better than anyone else). Until they’re fixed costs dwindled to almost nothing and their revenues increased exponentially. Then they started funding innovation, creating one of the largest R&D departments. Now Google is a prefix for their programs, such as maps, plus, mail, images, news, translate, docs, earth, finance, etc.
Although we learned about Google’s revenue/market strategy in class, they are not alone atop Technology Hill. By enveloping smaller, less capable (less funded) companies, four top companies have taken over the technology world, according to the Economist: Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook. (Sorry Microsoft)
This elite upper-echelonism (not a word) of the technology world has the potential to be either beneficial or detrimental to the future of technology. The emergence of elite companies, believe it or not, may lead to exponentially more exponential growth. What I mean by that is, all the tech-savvy, brilliant people of the world will look for jobs with these elite firms. By consolidating talent and pooling together brainpower between Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook, innovation will have room to flourish, along with the advancement of new industries/developments. That was the plus side.
The down side is the possible monopolization of money and power at the top of these 4 firms. If these firms ever negotiated terms with each other, they would be able to design a monopolistic competitive market that hurts the wallet of the average citizen. Also, this would make it very difficult for a small, innovating firm to succeed in technology. What most likely will happen is one of the top companies swallowing up the up and comer (see Facebook to Instagram).
But who knows what will come? It’s like kids in the late 80s, early 90s worrying about the latest boom box technology. We think we know what we will have to worry about, but we don’t. We can’t even imagine.