This was a FASCINATING read–The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google  by NYU’s Professor Scott Galloway–but what was his main point? Was it, “How not to change the world” or “We sold ourselves to the devil”? Perhaps it was to sound an alarm of pending doom, or maybe it was strategically outlining how to become number 5.
To tell you the truth, I wasn’t sure what the book’s takeaway was. Don’t get me wrong, this was an entertaining read and I enjoyed it, but I scratched my very bald head to figure how we were to respond to his in-depth exposure of what the big four did to all of us to climb to the trillion dollar mark.
I thought I would try to answer this main takeaway question by going to a book review written through the very company Dr. Galloway tried to shake up with a hostile board takeover, The New York Times. Hear now from David Streitfeld, in his NYT article titled “Tech Giants, Once Seen as Saviors, Are Now Viewed as Threats”,
“Amazon determines how people shop, Google how they acquire knowledge, Facebook how they communicate. Their amount of concentrated authority resembles the divine right of kings, and is sparking a backlash that is gathering force. Sometimes we have regrets, and we are confronting issues we never imagined. Repercussions are many and include loss of privacy, Russian meddling, monopolies, and the proliferation of hate speech.” 
Dawn Askham responded brilliantly in the New York Times Comment of the Moment,
“Take monopolistic addictive platforms that gather, track, store and analyze the details of everyone–with zero oversight. Add ridiculous sums of money. It’s no wonder the tech giants have started looking less like saviors and more like masters of our dystopian future.” 
Sounds like this is a a book full of WARNINGS. I get it. And I appreciate it. While at the same time, it sounds like a book full of RESPECT. Like, here’s what the four did to all of us with our full permission and blessing. We have no one to blame but ourselves for being so gullible.
Full disclosure here: I am typing this Blog on my Apple computer, with Facebook open on my iPad next to me. I have an iPhone two inches away from my heart in my breast pocket most of the day. I shopped on Amazon three times this week (not gonna go into a single store this year to buy Christmas presents), I used Google Scholar to search for Galloway book reviews, Google Flights to check airfare to London, and Google Maps for directions to one of my churches. Say what I want about the four, I am attached at the hip! Like it or not, they are all a significant part of my personal, professional and student life. I am all in whether I like it or not…so complaining about the domination of the four only identifies my own shortcomings.
However, for devotionals this month, I am reading Proverbs one day at a time (31 Proverbs fit nicely into 31 days of the month). Several verses whispered loudly from yesterday’s chapter 28 reading (because God does not have to yell, or compete with the four to get our attention–He has already issued WARNINGS for all of us, we should RESPECT Him for it):
A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops. (verse 3)
Better the poor whose walk is blameless than the rich whose ways are perverse. (verse 6)
Whoever increases wealth by taking interest or profit from the poor amasses it for another who will be kind to the poor. (verse 8)
The rich are wise in their own eyes; one who is poor and discerning sees how deluded they are. (verse 11)
A tyrannical ruler practices extortion, but one who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long reign. (verse 16)
A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished. (verse 20)
The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the Lord will prosper. (verse 25)
When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding; but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive. (verse 28) 
I know this book was not intended to be Christian, although the author used many religious tongue-in-cheek highlights. God was referenced a whopping 43 times, including this ouch, “You are also less likely to believe in God if you have a high IQ” . Jesus was mentioned 6 times, especially when referring to Steve Jobs . The word religion was coupled often when describing Google . Professor Galloway either must have a faith background, or God is currently pursuing him mightily.
I close with this perplexing quote from Galloway, one that would directly contradict an earlier author we read, Chris Lowney in Heroic Leadership, who challenged us to find our passion and follow it all the way to our daily profession. Galloway confuses by saying,
“Don’t follow your passion, follow your talent. Determine what you are good at (early), and commit to becoming great at it. You don’t have to love it, just don’t hate it. If practice takes you from good to great, the recognition and compensation you will command will make you start to love it”. 
Not sure I can pick up what Dr. Galloway is laying down here…
 Galloway, Scott. The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. London: Corgi Books, 2018.
 Streitfeld, David. “Tech Giants, Once Seen as Saviors, Are Now Viewed as Threats.” New York Times, October 12, 2017.
Askham, Dawn. “Comment of the Moment.” nytimes.com. October 13, 2017. Accessed November 28, 2018. http://nytimes.com/.
 Barker, Kenneth L. Zondervan NIV Study Bible: New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008.
 Galloway. 125.
 Ibid. 73.
 Ibid. 124.
 Ibid. 234.