I was more excited to read this book than any other book on our reading list. But I became a little frightened though when I took a step back for self-reflection. I got even more scared when I realized how inundated I was in these companies. Take for example how I came about physically acquiring this book, The Four. It all started when I saw on Facebook that Loren posted our reading list. So I immediately opened a new tab and began googling the books on our list. This of course brought up an Amazon link each time, which is where I purchased it for free 2-day shipping. And of course, I did all of this on my new Macbook. I literally automatically used all four of The Four to purchase The Four, without even realizing it.
My expectations wernt to necessarily learn the most applicable principles for my ministry or my dissertation. But I knew this was certainly going to be a fun read.
Upon picking up the book and diving into with my normal routine a few things happened…
- Russia admitted to using Facebook to alter our elections.
- Apple became the first trillion dollar company.
- I invited the children’s pastor at my church to read this book along with me. He is a hgue nerd about all big tech companies. Tesla, Apple, Amazon, you name it, he drools over it.
- The first of this book described a class at NYU where students can go to Chile to study business practices, and he used this phrase, “fascinating, but worthless.” Ouch! Powerful. I immediately thought of this book.
- Jeff Bezos became the richest person on the planet.
- My dad has been working at Google for about 10 years now as a Senior Software Engineer and I’ve toured the campus many times.
- Microsoft briefly surpasses Apple has the most valuable company.
I was so fascinated by this whole journey! If nothing good would came of it, I was at least enjoying myself. I was tempted a few times in the first chapter to delete my Facebook and throw away laptop and iphone and start only shopping locally. But what difference would that make? They’re too big.
I also was a little disspaointed when I saw that much of what Galloway including in his book is just a compilation of what he has already shared in many of his other avenues. From his TedX talks to business insider, Berkely and the many of the different universities he has spoken for. This does not lessen the value of what he has to say, but does lessen the value of the book itself.
Is it good or bad? Well both. But Galloway brought up a lot more bad than I had orginially thought there was to write about. The Ted X thought that was given after The Four was published did have some more current information to Galloways point, and he had a brutal slam to Zuckerberg in light of the new election controversies. His Disdain for the four certainly comes out more in person, than in his book.
Galloway said, in his presentation “700,000 of the brightest people in the world. Working with the GDP of India. With the greatest technology available. What is their mission? What is the cummalation of all of that work? “To sell another F***’ing Nissan” This may not be entirely true. I don’t think Zuckerberg or Larry Page care about selling things anymore.
Galloway though is clear that he is not blaming them. It’s our fault, it’s their fault. Our action step is to give them the right checks and balances. This means we need to elect the right people who will drive them to hold them accountable. Galloway pitches the answer is regulation. These four have just become so powerful, that the power has been corruptive, and now they do damage to the over all community. I actually kind of agree. Although I am normally for small government, this is an area I think we all want to see more regulation in. Many sources have reported how Silicon Valley after being worshipped for so long has no raised a lot of questions and people are feeling more uncomfortable with it.
I also did not like the fact that he stopped it at The Four. Galloway pointed out himself that Microsoft was the 3rd biggest company in the world in 2006. In his illustration he was pointing out the in 2017 the 1, 2, 4, & 5 companies had changed and were now occupied by the four. But what he didn’t point out is that Microsoft remained as the #3 largest company in world. It’s easy to flip stastitics around to make it seem they are bigger than they are. Granted the stats on the The Four are still staggering. But take for example some stats about Microsoft. 80% of Fortune 500 companies use Microsoft Azure to back up their data on the cloud.  Microsoft also has a huge share of gaming industry with their XBOX.
The good news as much as these companies hate each other, as Galloway points at, they have to play well with each other. Essentially because the neighbors are watching. If I buy a product I want to not be limited on my options, so I want apple products and my PC and I want Microsoft products on my Mac etc. etc. Whichever platform will be the least limiting (#FOMO) then I more likely to go that route.
Anoter possible candidate for the 5th horseman, one that Galloway did not notice, is Hillsong. THEY’RE TAKING OVER! WE MUST STOP THEM.