Over at Barry Ritholtz blog I saw this video by Scott Galloway (at the Digital-Life-Design Conference) titled, The Four Horsemen – Amazon/Apple/Facebook & Google – Who Wins/Loses. Mr. Galloway is Professor of Marketing at NYU Stern School of Business where he teaches Brand Strategy and Digital Marketing NYU Stern School of Business, see his background here. In this presentation he packs a terribly insightful discussion into just fifteen minutes where he covers what he believes will be the advances and declines among the big four (“Four Horsemen”) of digital (and the convergence of retail) sales. Professor Galloway is quick to disclaim that any decline among these companies in no way means insignificant but rather, a shift in market share between four companies that hold a titanic share of the retail market.
A few high points from the discussion:
Amazon’s “race to the bottom” strategy where they then wait out the competition has an Achilles heel: shipping costs. The solution (or the future)? Fractional employment among the ranks of flexible employees such as Uber and Carpooling.com.
The trend of existing brick and mortar retail stores edging into the completion through the transformation of their retail locations into flexible warehouse fulfillment centers.
A few harsh words, matched off against some significant compliments for Facebook.
Key to Apple? It’s “self-expressive benefit.”
Finally, there was an unfortunate takeaway. The trend of Macy’s illustrates the further reduction of the middle class in America – “$40-60k jobs are giving way to $20-40k per year jobs” related to factory and fulfillment functions. So mid level service jobs are giving way to lower level service jobs, illustrating the point that even where there is job growth, no job is irreplaceable, which puts even more pressure on the individual to contribute value and if possible, make themselves indispensable.