This book challenges many common ideas about big-tech monopolies (Facebook, Amazon, Google, Netflix). For example, they are undefeatable companies surrounded by “moats” that will forever keep out the competition. Or that all these companies enjoy the benefits of network effects, economies of scale, and can “growth hack” forever.
For example, network effects are non-existent or not very strong for certain giants like Netflix (The Netflix “friends” project failed long ago) or Amazon (Amazon reviews are so polluted and unregulated that they can be meaningless). And for both Netflix and Amazon, the competition is catching up quickly.
In the areas in which Big-Tech does seem to have dominance, Dr. Knee examines why and how these advantages came to be and, most importantly, what companies are finding success competing with Big Tech (Shopify over Amazon, for example). And why companies are learning that by partnering with Facebook, Google, and Amazon, they create customers for the “platforms” and not for themselves!
It will take me a long time to summarize all my notes and quotes from this book (Always a good sign). I will say that I had a little harder time with the first 50 pages as I was trying to make sure I understood the economic ideas the author was explaining. The rest of the book contains many stories about these “platform” companies and the upstarts that challenge them on the “platform’s” ground.
If you are interested in Tech and Business, I highly recommend this book. You might not agree with everything in it, but it will challenge your assumptions with rigorous analysis.