Here is the full transcript of Professor Scott Galloway’s Presentation on Amazon, Apple, Facebook, And Google Should Be Broken Up at IGNITION 2017 conference.
Introducing Speaker: Without further ado, Professor Galloway!
Scott Galloway – Founder, L2; Professor of Marketing, NYU
My name is Scott Galloway, I teach at NYU, and I appreciate your time.
I have 118 slides and 1800 seconds, 17 seconds per slide. So let’s light this candle.
I have two presentations, one is five minutes, it’s a summary of the presentation I was going to give, and then a 25 minute presentation on content, that I have never presented before. The reason I highlight that, it starts with my friend Henry Blodget has plausible deniability for what I’m about to say. This is the first and the last slide, every one of my 6200 students has seen in the grand strategy course I teach at NYU.
You can’t build a company with hundreds of millions of users, and billions in shareholder value, without appealing directly to a core instinct organ. So, let’s start with the big four, the brain.
Since we have come out of caves, we’ve taken advantage of our competitive advantage as a species, and that is we have very big brains. So big, that our bodies need to be expelled, from our mothers, because your brain becomes too big.
We’re born premature, and our brain is sophisticated enough to ask very complex questions, but not sophisticated enough to answer them. Will my kid be all right? We’ve all sent a prayer up into the universe. What is a prayer, a query, assuming there’s going to be some sort of divine intervention, that sees everything and send back the answer, will my kid be all right, symptoms and treatment of croup, think of everything you have typed into the Google query box, and you’re going to recognize you trust Google more than any priest, scholar, rabbi, coach, mentor, boss.
Google knows if you’re about to get married. It knows if you’re about to get divorced. It knows what diseases you have. It knows what diseases you have exposed yourself to. Google knows more about you than any entity in your history past or present.
Let’s move further down the torso. Facebook is tapping into our need to love. One of the wonderful things about our species is that we not only need to be loved, kids with poor nutrition, and decent amounts of affection have better outcomes than kids with good affection, excuse me, with poor affection and good nutrition, but we need to love others.
When you decide to let your parents move in with you, your life expectancy goes up two to three years, new mothers do not die. The physical and mental nuance of caregiving is the most important thing for our species, in such that it literally releases a hormone, that clears out the bad cholesterol, and you get to stick around longer. The strongest signal of whether you’ll join the fastest growing demographic group, centenarians is how many people in your life simply put: do you love, moving further down the torso, more, more is built into us.
Again, since we emerged from caves too little was a terrible death of starvation. So, open your cupboards, open your closets, 10 to 100 times what you need. You rationally know, you have 10 to 100 times what you need, and the next feeling you have I need more, because the penalty for more is gluttony, maybe lethargy, maybe diabetes with a 20 or 30 year lag, but more for less is the original gangster business strategy, and typically the most valuable company in the world is the one that offers more for less. It’s the strategy of China. It was the strategy of Walmart, and now it’s Amazon, who is going to be the most valuable company in the world.
Apple, after survival, our strongest instinct is pro-creation. The men in here are not wearing watches, they’re wearing $11,000 amalgams of plastic steel and leather, that effectively communicate to the other sex, or ineffectively in most cases. If you mate with me, your kids are more likely to survive, than if you mate with someone wearing a Swatch watch.
For the first time, we now have a tech device, that communicates that you are part of the innovation class. You live in a city. You appreciate the arts. You probably make a good living. You’re interesting, you’re groovy. You have better genes. Just as waving an Android phone, paying with a Discover card, or having Ad supported Pandora is like a prophylactic saying don’t have sex with me. There companies have literally disarticulated who we are, and reassembled them in the form of for profit companies, and created more shareholder value and influence than any other entities with the exception of the US and China, 2008, they had the GDP of Niger, in terms of the market cap.
As of today, they have the GDP of India. They’ve blown past Canada, they’ve blown past Russia, and I would argue they have more influence than any entities, maybe with the exception of Russia or China. If you look at where the most value has accreted it’s changed dramatically, just in the last 11 years, petroleum companies, conglomerates, now, it’s all tech companies, including the big four, and arguably, if I was going to write another book called the five, you would have to include Microsoft .
So, that’s a summary of my talk, that I usually give about my book, The Four, but what is the chapter I didn’t write? I’m coming out of the closet as somebody, who after studying these companies pretty intensely, for two years and working in, and around them for the last ten I believe, actually, I know, these companies should be broken up.
So, why? Let’s start off, is it because they’re evil? Well, okay. There are some evil things going on, the majority, I watched the livestream yesterday, saying we want to give, we want to give voice to people, that’s what I keep hearing, that’s Latin for we don’t want to own up to the responsibilities of a media company, we don’t want to take responsibility, for the terrible things that happen, when we don’t monitor when our platforms are weaponized.
So, effectively, you have the majority of fake news, being sponsored by social media, who legitimizes fake media, by putting legitimate news next to it on their platforms, and I signed a code of conduct every year at NYU, saying I won’t curse, I won’t be sexist, I won’t talk about politics. So, I am absolutely not going to say here, that Zuckerberg has become Putin’s bitch. I’m just not going to say it.
The initial response is not a crisis, that does the damage, it’s the response to the crisis, that does the damage to a company. So, the initial response, that the Facebook platform had been weaponized was this notion is crazy. Then it graduated to okay, a few million people saw these impressions. Now we’re at hundreds of millions of people have seen content, whose sole purpose was to sell chaos. And what was the incredible artificial intelligence to save us through this, it’s somehow missed that these ads were paid for with a credit card, and in rubles, which give you a sense of the amount of resources being devoted to ensure these platforms are not weaponized. We’re not a media company. We’re a technology company. We’re allergic, we love the celebrity, the influence, and the margins of a media company, but we’re allergic to the responsibilities. We’re a platform.