Ep. 287 – Scott Galloway: How the Four Most Influential Companies on the Planet Took Over the Market and Changed Humankind

scott galloway

I don’t know where to begin. I’m a fan of Scott. I think he reminds me of someone I went to high school with. He was bright and always cursing at the right time. I remember laughing. Because I felt close to being free. But he was the one with the ability to put himself in the middle of controversy.

That’s something I (still) can’t do.

He’d say eff this or eff that. Part of me felt compelled to egg him on. But he didn’t need it. He was comfortable being cynical and right.

Scott Galloway does this with business. I watch his weekly  “Winners & Losers” videos where he tells you things like “Brands are dying” and “Amazon will be broken up” Then he’ll dress up like Spock and I’ll lose my mind.

I get these videos emailed to my phone. And I’m also subscribed to his YouTube channel.

He came on my podcast to talk about his new book, “The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google.”

But we also talked about his past: creating and selling companies. Being on the board of The New York Times, wanting to salvage the newspaper industry (his idea back then was brilliant).

“I got laughed out of the room,” he said.

“What was your idea?”

“That the stupidest thing we did is buy into this bullshit lie that ‘information wants to be free.’”
He’s right. I remember the beginning on the internet. We gave information  away… And now they’re profiting off us. Scott called it “the hot girl effect”

“Everybody wants to hang out with the hot girl,” he said. “So, to say you’re doing a deal with Google made you feel younger and more interesting.”

They said “information wants to free.” So deals were made.

He told me exactly how he would’ve turned it around. And I felt like I was listening to the possibility of new reality.

That’s what Scott Galloway brings to the table. Beyond strategy or analysis. Beyond brilliance, he brings possibility. And teaches you that it’s not over.

“The Four” are winning.

But I told Scott nobody really cares. Nobody cares which one of these companies “wins.”

I’m interested in is learning how to win too. I want to know HOW Amazon, Apple, Facebook & Google became influential. And disruptive. So I can be influential and disruptive, too.

Scott said all Fortune 500 CEO’s have one thing in common… or at least “450 of them have one thing in common.”

They’re likable.

“Even the ones that are psychopaths?” I said.


He explained: ”During the day these people are Darwin and Darth Vader, make no mistake about it. They play full body contact business and they make very brutal decisions. They dominate markets. They put companies out of business. And they don’t put warning labels on your iPad even though your kid has a crack-like addiction to the thing.”

He called them “wolves in sheeps clothing.”

Zuckerberg, Jobs, Bezos, Page, Brin.

But then he told me the principles they standby…

There’s five in total.

And we go through them all on this podcast. Learn HOW you can copy the 4 most on influential companies.

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  • Astroboy483

    Great interview! The concept that four companies are now so interconnected globally is a sci-fi movie come to life. I loved the small asides and I learn as much from them as the main conversation. If some idea pops in your head, James, let it out.

  • J Hu

    This interview was mind blowing. The guest was very knowledgeable and seemed to be able to peer into to the future.

  • Alexis Cooper

    I loved this interview! As an MBA student who just finished an Information Technology and Systems class, I found everything Scott talked about to be extremely true. All the topics that were brought up were ones that we have elaborated and discussed in class. I HIGHLY agree with his stance on how Amazon will execute their business in the future. After listening to this podcast, I purchased his book. I am very excited to read it. Also.. even though I am an MBA student completing more education, I agree with your stance (James) on the whole education system. I do think it’s something we have to do, but there is definitely a ‘reality check’ that comes to most students after graduating college that our professors, counselors, peers are not addressing prior to. We need to talk more about WHY there is such a struggle to get students to fully graduate college, graduate in a shorter amount of time not above 4 years, successful job placement, and satisfactory job placement. Also, there needs to be more education throughout the high school and college years on what careers exist and are available such as more internships, more job shadowing, more networking opportunities, more mentoring, that way when a student is graduating, they are not just ‘trying to find a job’.
    This will help place them in a position to be satisfied in a career field SOONER. As I am in a current career search, I come across so many job titles I never heard of or knew existed until NOW. I feel that after completing an undergraduate degree and now Master’s that I would have an extensive amount of knowledge of career options that existed, however, I come to find out that it is only through MY search and cravings for more knowledge that I stumble upon such factors. I do have to say that I have loved every one of my Master level courses. Thanks for always great podcasts!