Scott Galloway: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google Manipulate Our Emotions (Transcript)


Scott Galloway

Here is the full transcript of professor of marketing Scott Galloway’s TED Talk: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google Manipulate Our Emotions….

Scott Galloway – Founder, L2; Professor of Marketing, NYU

So, this is the first and the last slide each of my 6,400 students over the last 15 years has seen. I do not believe you can build a multibillion-dollar organization unless you are clear on which instinct or organ you are targeting.

Our species has a need for a superbeing. Our competitive advantage as a species is our brain. Our brain is robust enough to ask these really difficult questions, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t have the processing power to answer them, which creates a need for a superbeing that we can pray to and look to for answers.

What is prayer? Sending a query into the universe, and hopefully there’s some sort of divine intervention — we don’t need to understand what’s going on — from an all-knowing, all-seeing superbeing that gives us authority that this is the right answer: “Will my kid be all right?” You have your planet of stuff, you have your planet of work, you have your planet of friends.

If you have kids, you know that once something comes off the rails with your kids, everything melts, in your universe to the Sun that is your kids “Will my kid be all right?” “Symptoms and treatment of croup” in the Google query box. One in six queries presented to Google have never been asked before in the history of mankind. What priest, teacher, rabbi, scholar, mentor, boss has so much credibility that one in six questions posed to that person have never been asked before? Google is our modern man’s God.

Imagine your face and your name above everything you’ve put into that box, and you’re going to realize you trust Google more than any entity in your history.

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Let’s move further down the torso. One of the other wonderful things about our species is we not only need to be loved, but we need to love others. Children with poor nutrition but a lot of affection have better outcomes than children with good nutrition and poor affection. However, the best signal that you might make it to be part of the number-one fastest growing demographic in the world — centenarians, people who live to triple digits — there are three signals. In reverse order: your genetics — not as important as you’d like to think, so you can continue to treat your body like shit and think, “Oh, Uncle Joe lived to 95, the die have been cast.” It’s less important than you think.

Number two is lifestyle. Don’t smoke, don’t be obese, and prescreen — get rid of about two-thirds of early cancers and cardiovascular disease. The number one indicator or signal that you’ll make it to triple digits: How many people do you love? Caretaking is the security camera — we call the low-resolution security camera in our brain — deciding whether or not you are adding value. Facebook taps into our instinctive need not only to be loved, but to love others, mostly through pictures that create empathy, catalyze and reinforce our relationships.

Let’s continue our journey down the torso. Amazon is our consumptive gut. The instinct of more is hardwired into us. The penalty for too little is starvation and malnutrition. Open your cupboards, open your closets, you have 10 to 100x times what you need. Why? Because the penalty for too little is much greater than the penalty for too much. So “more for less” is a business strategy that never goes out of style. It’s the strategy of China, it’s the strategy of Walmart, and now it’s the strategy of the most successful company in the world, Amazon. You get more for less into your gut; digest, send it to your muscular and skeletal system of consumption.

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