Silicon Valley Secession

Netopia likes NYU Stern-professor Scott Galloway for his one-liners, but loves him for his pathos. Sure liked last year’s talk at the DLD conference in Munich, where Galloway predicted Amazon would buy a gas station chain within the next twelve months. In this year’s talk, the professor upgraded to recommending Amazon to acquire Macy’s and Carrefour. He points to education as the next big market for the Big Four (not cars as many pundits would suggest). But behind the investment insight and the fast talk is a bigger image: what about us? In Galloway’s words “It’s never been easier to be a billionaire, but never harder to be a millionaire”. As fewer and fewer hands collect more and more wealth, where are we heading? The market caps of the Silicon Valley top dogs plus Alibaba is greater than the GDP of Russia and growing. The good professor suggests that Silicon Valley is becoming bigger than countries, wants to make its own law, seceding from the United States. (Not far from the Peter Thiel vision of a floating island on international water outside the jurisdiction of any state.) Sure, you can have free search, e-mail and image sharing. And feel free to put some of your money into the stock of these fast-growing behemoths. But how much power should we allow them? And is that choice for us to make individually? Or rather collectively, through democratic process? Plenty of books and movies coming out now on how we pay the price for letting Wall Street run loose. What will those books and movies be about ten years from now?

Here is a live infographic that lets you follow the value generation of the internet skyscrapers in real time (not connected to Scott Galloway).