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How did the biggest tech companies end up
with virtually no competition?
Well, all of the big tech companies
are in incredibly fierce competition with each other.
But I think what's made it difficult for smaller companies
to keep up with them is they have
such huge audiences that the scale advantages keep
attracting to the same few companies.
They benefit from network effects,
so that means if I'm on now with 10 friends, it's not great.
But if I have all my friends on that one platform,
that's brilliant.
So it tends to be that people flood towards one
particular platform.
One of the ways in which the tech companies ended up
with virtually no competition is by literally buying out
the competition.
So take Facebook, for instance.
They bought up Instagram and WhatsApp
both very early on in their lifetime,
because they were looking out for apps that were quickly
gathering new users and whom they could see in the horizon
as picking up the next big trend.
Now, WhatsApp still doesn't make any money.
It never had a business model, but yet it was worth $19bn
to Facebook.
There are plenty of investors on the west coast of the US
that think monopolies are great and they're
something to aspire to, rather than something to knock down.
The main problem with antitrust law,
as it stands at the moment, is that it tends to look in the US
at prices as the main gauge of whether consumers
are benefiting.
And so many of these internet services
are given away for free, that it looks as though consumers
are benefiting hugely.
But there are people that are now
trying to redefine cost in terms of not just dollars,
but data or how the actions of the biggest companies
are affecting smaller competitors.
But the other way in which I think
they've grown to such scale is the sort
of Silicon Valley mentality, this growth at all costs
culture.
So Facebook, for example, its old slogan
used to be "move fast break things".
They were really looking to keep people on the platforms
as long as possible, regardless of users'
mental health or the fact that there
might be false information on the platform.
They just wanted to grow.
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【科技】無人能出其右!邁向獨大的科技巨擘 (How did the biggest tech companies end up without competition?)

107 分類 收藏
Jessieeee 發佈於 2019 年 7 月 5 日
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