Kicking off day 2 of DLD16, Scott Galloway, founder of think tank L2 and professor at NYU Stern School of Business, wakes us up with some breathtakingly fast number crunching on the big four: Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google.
Last year at DLD15, Galloway boldly predicted that Amazon will decline in value. His talk went viral and the Amazon stock went through the roof since then. "We get it wrong all the time," Scott admits and adds: "but we often get it right, too." So take this as a disclaimer. His think tank harvests a huge amount of numbers and data to benchmark the digital competence of brands. These studies also serve as the basis for L2's future predictions.
Scott starts his presentation by talking about the success of the big four. Facebook continues to be the most successful company in the history of time. There are 1.1 billion self-identified catholics, there are 3.4 billion with a meaningful relationship with Facebook. "It's more popular than Buddha."
It's hard to find companies that can match the fast growth of Apple and Amazon in terms of retail; combined they grew about 65 billion dollars. To put this number into context: Nike had its best year in history in 2015, it grew 2.8 billion dollars. Amazon are now responsible for 25% of all the growth of retail in the US.
People say Amazon cannot be profitable, but that is not true. It could make profits, but the company just decided not to, because profits are heroin to investors, they love them and when you take them away they get confused. Markets like consistency. How can you compete with a giant that doesn't want to make money? No company is more consistent than Amazon running purely at break-even.
He goes on to talk about digital advertising. Ad tech is a great business if you work for Google or Facebook. Everybody else will go out of business, Galloway predicts. "Advertising is becoming a tax only poor people will pay."
In the digital age, the team with the best players wins. So acquiring talent is a huge issue. We see a lot of people leaving brands for positions at technology platforms but merely the other way around. Talents switch jobs between the big four all the time though. Facebook wins the talent war, since only a few people leave it. Uber is the new "It-Girl" as Galloway puts it. Many people are hired, 25% from the big four, only a few leave. If you would like to work for Uber get a job at Apple, Amazon, Facebook or Google. That's your best bet.