The Four. Or, How To Build A Trillion Dollar Company
They are bywords for growth and success. Between them they have a current market valuation in excess of $2.3 trillion, have infiltrated almost every aspect of our lives, and dominate cyberspace to the possible detriment of real life. Please give a big hand for the four ubiquitous monoliths of the internet age: Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook.
In the first part of his book, Galloway breezily examines each of what he calls the ‘Four Horsemen’, and tells their familiar stories: how Apple became the epitome of innovation, aspiration and design; how Amazon revolutionised delivery and fuelled our never-ending need for consumption; how Google became omniscient and all-powerful; and then there is Facebook with nearly two billion users – a quarter of humanity – with
data the secret services would kill for, all of it in the cause of marketing. Their growth and rise to world domination is truly extraordinary, the figures astounding.
The second part is disappointing. Galloway identifies eight factors as being crucial in developing a super company, none of which is a ground-breaking insight. Then briefly, and wholly inadequately, he considers the potential of other pretenders (Alibaba, Uber and Tesla) before giving slightly hackneyed, obvious advice on how to get a job and succeed in business.
The author is a professor of marketing at New York University, with a tendency to bang his own drum. His style is personable and accessible, but too often his observations are marred by sloppy writing and even gratuitous swearing.