NYU Business Professor: Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook will all go out of business, all disappear within 50 years

“Scott Galloway, a professor and former entrepreneur, sees an uncertain future for Amazon.com, Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google in his new book on the powerful tech giants,” Therese Poletti writes for MarketWatch. “Galloway, who now teaches marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business, dissects the success of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google in ‘The Four,’ a book released this month by Portfolio. Galloway was a serial entrepreneur before teaching at NYU, founding nine companies including L2, a research company, and Red Envelope, an online gift-giving site that was one of the e-commerce busts of the first dot-com era.”

MarketWatch: In your book you talk a bit about companies that once dominated tech and how they no longer are kings anymore. Do you think that is inevitable for the Four Horsemen of your book?

Galloway: Of the Dow 100 from 100 years ago, only 11 have survived. With the business life cycle getting faster and faster, a child born today will outlive all of these firms. Do I see them getting more and more powerful? Yes. Do I see all of them dying within our lifetimes? Yes. The fatality rate among our species, and firms, is 100%.

MacDailyNews Take: A math professor Galloway is not. If 11 of the Dow 100 from 100 years ago have survived, the fatality rate is 89%.

MarketWatch: Do you think that will be in the next few decades or too hard to predict?

Galloway: Too hard to predict. Ten years ago, we were all talking about Myspace. It’s very hard to tell. The only thing I am comfortable saying is they will all go out of business, all disappear within 50 years.

MacDailyNews Take: Even though, again, 11 companies from the Dow 100 from 100 years ago have survived.

MarketWatch: Is there one company that could outlast the others in this group?

Galloway: If you are trying to pick the one, the good money right now is on Amazon. Out of the other three, Amazon is winning… Where it butts up against Apple in computer hardware, the most innovative tech hardware of 2016, it wasn’t the Apple Watch or it wasn’t the Apple Pods, it was the Amazon Echo. If you look at where they are competing against Apple in voice, Siri versus Alexa, Alexa is putting a serious beat on Siri. So in any area where these guys overlap, Amazon is winning.

MacDailyNews Take: Myopic. Smart speakers are but a molecule within a drop in Apple’s and Amazon’s oceans.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: iCal’ed.

Of course, we certainly wouldn’t mind seeing a couple of Galloway’s four disappear ASAP. God forbid something worse than Google or Facebook arises to replace them.

26 Comments

  1. A book promotion. A MarketWatch interview. Vague guestimations about The Future.

    I conclude that Prof. Galloway is not an economy prophet. His choice of Amazon as the survivor of ‘The Four’ fits MDN’s term ‘Myopic’ very well, IMHO.

    But I do enjoy bringing competition between all of these companies to the fore. ‘Get Ready To Rumble!’ That’s exactly what we need in these days of corrupting consolidation of corroding companies. 😉

    1. The great part about predicting things that will happen 100 years from now is that if they come true, you’ll look like a posthumous genius, and if they don’t you’ll be dead anyhow. Nostradamus knew this well and just made as many predictions as he could.

    2. One of my NYU business school professors told me I was stupid buying a few thousand dollars of Apple stock in 1997 after Jobs returned. Told me they would be out of business before 2000 (yes I know, even Jobs has said they were only a few months from bankruptcy when he returned, hence the settlement with MS). I had faith that SJ would right the ship.

      1. Insightful people: Thank you.

        As for the settlement with Microsoft: I have a lovely long lecture on that subject which points out that saving Apple was NOT the topic of discussion between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Apple not suing Microsoft for blatant and unrepentant robbery of QuickTime code was the subject. It’s one of the best no-lawyers settlements in business history.

  2. The problem is that 3 of the 4 have near-monopoly positions in their respective areas, which makes govt regulation the most likely reason for their demise. That is, they could be broken up, etc. Guess which 3.

    1. So did Sears and Roebuck, Bell Telephone Company, and Tower Music, among others. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if all of these companies as we know them cease to exist, eventually. It’s just the nature of things, nothing remains static, and profit cannot increase into infinity. Someday people will think Apple and iPhones were ‘quaint’. enjoy the good times and shape of things while they last, because the will not last forever.

  3. In the 80’s a business professor said that there will only be 3 car companies in year 2000. The three lucky companies were to be GM, Ford, Chrysler. All the German, Japanese and European companies were going to be gobbled up by the US competition apparently.

  4. Business names change, products get sold off or split off as new corporations, and mergers occur.

    Hundreds of companies no longer exist because General Electric under Jack Welch bought them. Apple has done the same.

    I think the Professor doth read too many of his own estimates without seeing the diversity in the business world.

    Real useful, affordable products survive, no matter which company makes them and that is the result of progress in society.,

  5. I would agree if he had said, “none of them will be the same company that they are now in fifty years.” There are constant upswings, death spirals, acquisitions and mergers. Facebook seems the least diverse, and I would expect to be the first casualty. Apple and, especially, Google are coming under a great deal of legislative scrutiny; government likes deep pockets to “penalize”. Amazon is fairly diverse, and continues to become more so. It also flies just barely at “radar level”, so while not completely invisible, they are not at the forefront of legislators’ minds. And why no Microsoft? Is he convinced it will rise again to outlast all others? Perhaps, but I suspect it will continue to slide until consumed by another entity within the next fifty years to become another corporate footnote.

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