It is almost impossible to think about our lives without the top 5 technology companies: Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Facebook and Microsoft.
Farhad Manjoo of The New York Times ran a great interactive feature for New York Times, where he raised a thought provoking question:
Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, are not just the largest technology companies in the world. As I’ve argued repeatedly in my column, they are also becoming the most powerful companies of any kind, essentially inescapable for any consumer or business that wants to participate in the modern world. But which of the Frightful Five is most unavoidable? I ponder the question in my column this week.
But what about you? If an evil monarch forced you to choose, in what order would you give up these inescapable giants of tech?
Here’s how I would choose and also explain my reasons for it: I would ditch Facebook first, then Microsoft, then Amazon, then Alphabet and then Apple.
Facebook has been a great way to connect with old friends and stay in touch what people have been up to, but since last year, I have consciously stopped checking Facebook on a regular basis (it also helps save battery life). So the first tech giant I would drop without a beat would be Facebook. These days I check it probably once or twice a month. I find the social interactions on Facebook quite superficial. I just find it a waste of time to like someone’s post. It is nice to stay in touch what people are doing or places they’re going to, which can be done once or twice a week.
In fact, WhatsApp would be the only reason why I wouldn’t ditch Facebook, which is why I think it was a brilliant move by Mark Zuckerberg to buy WhatsApp. I am in touch with all my close family and friends via WhatsApp. I am sure there would be a viable alternative if WhatsApp wasn’t around.
If you had asked me this question, more than a decade back, then it would have been unthinkable to ditch Microsoft. But ever since buying my first iPod, and switching to a Mac, I have managed to survive without Microsoft products, and haven’t missed anything in particular along the way.
I still prefer to use Microsoft Office products and find them a lot superior to Google’s G Suite, but I end up using Google Docs and Google Sheets a lot more, as that is an easier way to share documents.
I may fall in the small percentage of people who can ditch Windows, but as Farhad rightly points out the world no longer depends as deeply on Microsoft’s operating system.
Since I am not based in the U.S., Amazon is probably an easy one to ditch. But I still buy quite a lot of things from Amazon, and I also find Kindle and Audible services indispensable. Amazon would be painful to replace, especially for people in the U.S. but isn’t irreplaceable.
I would stick with Google nearly to the end. It is difficult to imagine our lives without Google Search, and the instant access it gives us to human knowledge.
And Google Search is just the tip of the iceberg. It would be difficult to live without Gmail, YouTube, Chrome, and Google Photos too.
I am sure many of you might have guessed it. But it has been a thought provoking exercise. I think Google would come close, but it is difficult to think about ditching Apple, especially for its hardware like the iPhone. The tight integration of hardware and software on iOS devices along with the app ecosystem gives Apple the edge. I think I could probably live without a Mac, especially considering the number of times I have to reboot my MacBook Pro these days. But the iPhone, which is with me almost all the time, will be difficult to replace.
I also have a Nexus 6P, an Android smartphone, as I need it for my work, but there is hardly anything transactional I do with it. The security and the peace of mind that Apple provides would be difficult to replace.
Chart of the day!
To put things into perspective, the chart via Visual Capitalist below shows how the tech giants make their billions.
What about you? In what order would you give up these tech giants? It would be great to hear your thoughts so please share them in the comments below.Like this post? Share it!