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The Success and Developments of Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook in Scott Galloway's The Four

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Scott Galloway’s The Four explores the successes and developments of the “Four Horsemen” of the economy: Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook (p.2). Galloway provides unique insight into the numbers that these firms put up, and also attempts to spell out the factors that attributed to each company’s success.

The book begins by introducing each of these companies and then examining them in closer detail. Amazon, or “Earth’s Biggest Store,” found its success by appealing to the “hunter-gatherer instinct” of humans while bundling together many consumer benefits (p.33,26). Apple has an integrity on their policy that not even the federal government can crack, after they refused to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone (p.63). They have created a luxury brand that signifies wealth and status, allowing them to capture 80% of smartphone market profits while only holding 14% of the market share (p.84,70). Facebook users spend an average of 35 minutes a day on the platform (p.96). Combined with an AI able to predict content you are interested in, Facebook is unparalleled at delivering effective ads, all while being a global social media platform (p.103). Google is a religion, able to deliver answers to anything, as if it were a God that could answer every prayer (p.128).

The next part of the book discusses the common methods employed by the Four, along with the implications these firms place on the future. The central idea of this book is that there are common traits of market dominators, and these could possibly predict the future leaders in industry (p.183). Galloway calls this set of characteristics as the “T Algorithm,” and the factors are “product differentiation, visionary capital, global reach, likeability, vertical integration, AI, accelerant, and geography” (p.183). Galloway continues by discussing possible candidates for a “Fifth Horseman,” which include Alibaba, Tesla, and Microsoft (p.204). This book concludes by mentioning the ways that everyone can learn from the great. Galloway gives readers advice, suggesting measures like going to college, getting certification, and moving to a city (p.239,240).

Galloway seems to apply several success principles to his book. His entire book was ambitiously visionary—attempting to dissect the four most influential businesses of the era. He also does well at incorporating the factor of global reach. This book is definitely written for the general public, and Galloway throws any sense of formality out the window. He does not use any difficult vocabulary, and he makes many social and cultural references that will help people understand and relate to the content. He also incorporates humor, such as when he banters Apple, saying that they could make a “dent in the universe” with their capital, but instead will probably just “make a better screen for their next phone” (p.95). Despite this, Galloway still provides numbers and data to back up his claims, many of which are depicted in visually appealing graphics. One shortfall is that the advice he gives to people in the last chapter is very general. It is almost common knowledge that college and social connections are critical to success; this doesn’t add much to the book.

The “Four Horsemen” all have a story to tell, and Scott Galloway presents the interesting parts. The history of these four companies is relatively short, and all of the stories about them, used in this book, are only to support a larger claim. Galloway’s book is a work of economics, analyzing the characteristics of each company rather than reviewing their history. Galloway provides unique insight and has created both an informational and entertaining read.

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The Success and Developments of Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook in Scott Galloway’s The Four. (2018, October 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 20, 2021, from
“The Success and Developments of Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook in Scott Galloway’s The Four.” GradesFixer, 26 Oct. 2018,
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