Episode 4 - The Future of Big Tech (Transcription)
Justin: Welcome to Hence, the Future podcast. I'm Justin Clark.
Mattimore: And I'm Mattimore Cronin.
Justin: And today we're talking about the future of big tech.
Mattimore: So we'll be talkin about all the major tech companies, especially the FANG stocks. So Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google we might also touch on a couple other companies that are relevant like Microsoft and maybe Alibaba. Other companies, the whole China vs. US tech battle that seems to be ongoing. But I think that a good way to start off this podcast as we look forward towards the next 20 to 40 years about how big Tech is going to change. I think it's useful to start by looking back and think about what companies are still around, you know from the last 50 to 100 years and I remember in one of my business classes one of the professor's noted that the only company that's still in the Fortune 500 in past 100 years is GE General Electric. Every other company has dropped out so that just a testament to how much companies come and go and this is one thing Ray Dalio talks about a lot is that it's difficult for a company to live beyond its founder and you really have to have a strong culture and strong values that are able to you know live on beyond the charismatic Steve Jobs or Ray Dalio or whoever that you know, Warren Buffett, whoever the founder might be.
Justin: Yeah, I feel like Apple did a decent job transitioning.
Mattimore: Well, they say that Tim Cook is the master of spreadsheets where it was the kind of the perfect role for where Apple was and its life cycle. Because Apple has done better than any other company as far as being profitable shareholder returns. They have biggest valuation of any tech companies. So looking at the rankings of the Fortune 500 tech companies in 2018. I'll just list them off, Apple: 851 billion dollars. Alphabet which is, you know, formerly known as Google 719 billion dollars Microsoft; 730 billion dollars and then Amazon; 701 billion dollars and then a bit further down is Facebook 464 billion and then much further down you get. Netflix; 140 billion which is just catching up to Disney which is at 150 billion so apples on top and that tends to surprise people. Usually they think Amazon's the biggest one or Google.
Justin: What were the dates on those market caps?
Mattimore: So that was as of the 2018 Fortune 500 so that was you know, it's they've grown since then so it's a little bit outdated but not much.
Justin: Yeah, I was looking that I think apple is now nine hundred thirty billion. Like they're very close to the trillion dollar market cap, and then you have alphabet and then Amazon in terms of rank,
Mattimore: Yeah. It's the race to the trillion dollar company, which is just insane. I mean that's bigger than whole countries economies, you know in one company and there's no there's no.
Amazon or apple in Europe or you know, it's really just China and the US that have these major tech companies.
Justin: Yeah, that's it's really interesting that the US I mean the US before World War II wasn't even World economic power. Then and then after that and you know, there's there are many other conversations that we can have about why the US came out on top. Maybe it's the military-industrial complex. Maybe it's some other things
Mattimore: Forgiveness for failure. Yeah, exactly. It's like if you haven't failed hard and learned from it and rebuilt yourself then are you even really an American that's so ingrained and America's identity is like pulling yourself up from your bootstraps and doing what no one said was possible and typically you'll have a low point where you hit rock bottom and then you build yourself back, like the Steve Jobs story of him getting fired. And then coming back on to CEO creating the most valuable company. I will tech company in the world. I mean, it's amazing.
Justin: Yeah, I think it's also really cool that it's a country of immigrants and you always for some reason I don't know why this seems prominent to me and I don't have data to back this up. But I've I've seemed to notice that a lot of extremely successful people are either immigrants themselves or children of immigrants. I don't know if it's the culture that they bring but right
Mattimore: I would imagine it's a drive that they have more drive than someone who inherited a lot of money from their parents and they know they can kind of coast on by and their 20s and 30s and inherit money in their 40s and 50s or whatever. So yeah, I think that mentality but I was I was also talkin to I wasn't talkin to I was listening to One of James altucher podcast and it's with the guy Robert Greene who wrote 48 Laws of Power. But he also wrote Mastery and he talks about to be a master of your craft. You have to really be passionate about whatever it is and making money cannot be your goal. It's like that is almost a predictor of you not succeeding. If you're doing it to make money someone like Steve Jobs who traveled all throughout Asia found himself and just dedicated his life to achieving excellence in his craft which was personal Computing. That's how you achieve real success.
Justin: Yeah, so do you want to talk about these these top companies and give our thoughts on where they are now and where they might be going in the future.
Mattimore: Yeah. So let's do you want to do a top three ranking as in our favorite like the so let's let's be specific the three tech companies that we believe will be in the best position 20 to 40 years from now. Maybe 20 years 40 is a long time.
Justin: Yeah, let's see. So I kind of broke it down into categories and I think one of the cool things about these top companies is that they complement each other. Well, yes, they have some competition like Google and Amazon or both kind of competing for the infrastructure market. So the Computing infrastructure market. But I mean it seems to me like Amazon is dominating that right now, but if I were to choose three, I would choose Apple because I think they just make amazing devices. The the thing that is a wild-card for them is they're very secretive and I don't really know what's going on.
Mattimore: All right, what's your number two?
Justin: In no particular order for two and three, I think it's going to be Google and Amazon or something we've never seen before but I would say Google because at least the way that the internet is set up right now where it's extremely ad dominated and that's a whole other conversation.With the way the internet is right now, I think Google is just in the position where they're almost too big to fail and they're too good in they're I think they're so Innovative in how they collaborate with academic researchers and they they pull top talent constantly. There are very few people in the tech space that wouldn't want to work for Google for at least a year or two.
Mattimore: But um, do you have a third ranking? So if tied for to is Google and Amazon, do you have third?
Justin: I think it depends probably on how the AI race goes or Quantum Computing whether that pans out or not. Do you want to be bold and say Microsoft? I was yeah Microsoft is I'm conflicted about Microsoft. I don't like the past of Microsoft. I don't like how they basically locked all of these Enterprise Solutions or these big companies into there decade-long software contracts and all of their other growth schemes. I just think it was a little it's not about quality for them. It was about just monopolizing the market.
Mattimore: closed Source rather than open source is what yeah and in the thing and that's not necessarily.
Justin: Not necessarily a bad thing because I mean is about as closed as you can possibly get. It's just the way Microsoft went about a lot of things in the past; it really kind of turns me off to them, especially since they seem to make very. Clunky software their operating system has had issues basically since its beginning and I think the world would be in a much different place in the internet would be in a much different place if Linux was the dominant operating system and it's arguably a better operating system or well the different flavors of Linux, which is just a free open-source operating system that you can use and I think it's just the Enterprise solutions that Microsoft locked in that kept them on top for so long.
Mattimore: So maybe your number one apple number to Google number three Amazon you want to do it that way for you?
Justin: Yeah, but in well, so I do think Microsoft is going in a good direction. I really like their new CEO and I like the direction that they're taking and the other thing I'm really interested in what they're doing is their method of trying to get Universal quantum computers working and this this will be an entirely different podcast, but we'll just say that they have a really unique approach which is way different than all of the other companies and their Quantum Computing efforts.
Mattimore: Well I read an article on Microsoft that said that there are three key factors for success going forward is one to defend its Office Products. So right now people still very much prefer. Most people prefer Word to Pages, you know Apple's Pages, but Pages comes for free you have to pay extra forward unless you probably like their own surface or whatever. So to defend office as still being better than the free Alternatives that Google and apple have that's the first factor for success. The second one is to continue to grow their market share in cloud computing. I don't know if you saw this, but they just teamed up with Walmart yesterday. This was announced that they're taking on Amazon Instant Video and Netflix by using Walmart to actually pay to generate all of this new content and then having the cloud computing be done through Microsoft to team up against.
Amazon and Google but mostly Amazon. And then the third factor for success is what you were just referring to which is to continue to innovate with breakthrough technology like Quantum Computing. I mean Quantum Computing is similar to a as far as how big of an impact it can have on just the entire chessboard.
So that's that's one area where if they capitalize on that I think you're right and it might they might be in the top three. You know thriving is from now. Yeah, so here I'll give you my just to recap Justin's rankings were Apple number one Google Amazon tied for number two Microsoft tie or Microsoft has number three my rankings are Alphabet number one, Amazon number two, and then I put apple and Facebook tied for number three. Tell you my thought process. So alphabet, which is Google. I believe this is the best positioned company because I believe there is the farthest alone and I believe a is just going to be the single biggest factor in of success for all of these companies.
I mean, I have an Amazon Echo a Google home pod, so I have all three of these devices and Google is by far the best I mean Amazon is the second-best Siri Apple's Siri is the third best.
Justin: Yeah. I'm not I've never really been that impressed with Siri.
Mattimore: No, it's a and because they came up with Duke Google duplex. I know we've talked about this already. Google's voice is already smart enough to trick human beings into thinking that you're talkin to another human being when in fact you're talkin to a machine already. So if you extrapolate that out in the next 20 years, I mean that's going to be just insane to watch. Also, alphabet has aside from a YouTube I think is possibly the best position content source. Because no matter how much money Netflix spends on original content or Amazon if most people like consumers upload their own content on YouTube as opposed to other networks. Then that's the best position. I mean you talk about the world of podcasting and YouTubers and all of this area. It's like you don't have to pay for people to upload it if they choose your platform. You'll just automatically be the dominant one. And then also there's the cloud, you know, that's um, that's a big factor for any of these companies which is not they're not as high up as Amazon for cloud Amazon web services is still the dominant player, but yep, they are a big player.
So the reason I chose Amazon is number two is because they are vying to be the backbone of the US possibly even the world's economy. I mean, they are a logistics company. A retail e-commerce giant and they are the de facto provider of Cloud Computing Services to pretty much every other company.
Justin: Yeah. So all of the a that Google creates, well Google is probably going to try to run it on their own servers, but I'm pretty sure they'll also probably be running some stuff on Amazon web services.
Mattimore: Yeah. It's very intertwined. And also, you know Amazon has Whole Foods and they're really taking over anything-- you would need for a household and I looked at some predictions of where Amazon might be in the next 10 years and some of what I found is that their goal is really to take over the world via aggressive pricing and offering you deals that you just can't refuse and what we're seeing is that they basically sell every possible product that you would want through third parties, but then if it's popular enough, they'll create their own white label version of that product and sell it for a little bit cheaper and you can just see this like bulging out words until pretty much every version of what you want. There's an Amazon version that's cheaper and they would pretty much control a huge percentage of what we buy and also the other big thing that.
Was talked about in life through the book that I referenced on the intelligence podcast. Is that Amazon Mechanical Turk, which is referred to as M-Turk is basically a marketplace for human labor. So you can go on there and say hey I need someone to aggregate all the email addresses for all the journalists that I'm trying to run a PR campaign for.
To promote my company. Yeah, and they'll basically do that mechanical work for you. But the thing that most people don't realize is that M-Turk is a machine learning platform as well. So it learns how humans perform certain tasks and then it determines how to automate that and then it creates those tasks as well. So, Amazon is not just like some shop where you can buy everything. It's also becoming a means of performing labor tasks. Better than humans and if you extrapolate that out, it's like M-Turk itself could automate away, ten percent of all jobs in the next 10 years something like that.
Justin: Yeah, and one of the biggest bottlenecks in artificial intelligence right now is just getting data sets getting labeled data sets and not all data sets need to be labeled, but for the ones that do if you ever hear about, um, neural networks and image recognition, they need somebody to label images and mturk is also one of those one of those sources you can use for other people to label your data sets, which is important.
Mattimore: Who do you think has the biggest data set of these top companies?
Justin: Oh, I've I would say without a doubt. It's Google.
Mattimore: Yeah, um, even though the social social media data.
Justin: I question how how valuable some of the social media data actually is because because a lot of social media data is biased. So, with Facebook data, for example, the things that are posted.
Our only posted because people are trying to cater to their followers and their friends and I think Google grafting and values signaling in that comes. But with Google you're completely on your own. So it's almost like you're you're getting into the actual minds of people when you're looking at what they're searching and what they're doing by themselves.
Mattimore: That's a good point.
Justin: But there's obviously a lot of value and Facebook data.
Mattimore: Yeah, so I think that's a good point and that I think that further supports why I really think alphabet is number one, um, which I know was but in both of our top two rankings, so then my third is Apple and Facebook tide.
My feeling on Apple, so let me just say I'm a lifelong Apple lover, you know, since the first like mac that one that had like the colors and the nice boldest rear since that I've just loved all Apple products. However, it is a high-end product. It's not like a mass market product, which is part of what's good about their differentiation. That's why Google is more of a mass Market. Everyone all of the growth throughout India and China can be supported by Google whereas Apple's only going to get take, maybe ten percent of that market, but what's cool about Apple is that just how intuitive it is? I watched this one pretty cool video, which is basically all about the what do they call it the Grand Theory of Apple. Which tries to explain why Apple does what it does when people seem to not like that, you know, like removing headphone Jacks and all these things that we think are super annoying and we're like, oh Apple why can't you just make the battery longer and add more ports for my devices, but it actually fits in if you understand the theory so the first part of the theory is that they want tax to be as natural as possible. So, they basically want to fit Tech. Into the world of the caveman rather than vice-versa. So, the caveman principle, is that no matter what happens with tech we still are the same human beings that were evolved on the savanna of Africa and have these cavemen principles were we like physical things, we like to feel paper and look I'm looking at writing on a journal right now, which people thought was going to be obsolete by the time Computing had gone this far along but I still like the paper, you know, that's the yeah caveman principle. So they make them as natural as possible for the people making it so easy, so foolproof, that's the first principle the second one is that. They make very few products, but they make them really damn good. So whereas like Samsung makes a million different products. Apple just makes you know one MacBook, one MacBook Pro; one iPad, one iPad Pro; one iPhone, one iPhone Plus.
And then the third principle is that they know best not the customer. And Steve Jobs was a huge proponent of this is like the customer doesn't know what he wants because it hasn't been invented yet. So and they saw some resistance like they did not want to build a big phone like they did not want to build the iPhone plus but eventually they were forced to because people really wanted it so they're like, okay we'll have the regular one in the iPhone Plus they still very much believe that the smaller version. The version that people will eventually want. So I think this whole world of being super easy-to-use being high-end being one ecosystem where basically it makes your life easier and more enjoyable to live. So, you use your desktop computer when you're in your home, you know with specific work to do when you're on the road you use your laptop, when you're you know, sitting having coffee at some table that doesn't have a lot of room to use your iPad, when you're pretty much anywhere, like standing next to people on the subway, crowded use your phone when you're like going for a run and you don't even want your phone you use your Apple Watch with your with your Air Pods.
So it's like their products all compete with each other, but it's all the same ecosystem where tries to make your life easier. So, I think this is going to be very good for Apple in the next 10 years, but beyond that I think the big question is how they adopt a and how that competes with Google's A.I. And Amazon.
Justin: So one of the things about Apple that I do like and why I kind of think that they'll remain on top for a while. Is there are other things besides A.I. that are being created like augmented reality and virtual reality. I don't think Apple will do much in the virtual reality space but I do think they'll have a lot to do with the augmented reality space. I don't know if what the devices of the future are going to look like if it's going to be some sort of fact lenses contact lens our glasses, and I think they will probably since they are so good at design and innovative devices. I think they are just going to kind of be the backbone of those things because especially with Apple you see that their software and their hardware is so tightly integrated. I don't know if we're gonna have good augmented reality devices that aren't that good. You know, I don't see I don't see Android devices being so seamless. They have so much Hardware. Yeah, so we'll see. I mean there's there's a lot of things that can happen, but that's kind of why I think apple is still so likely to be on top.
Mattimore: Yeah, and then my other tied for third with apple was Facebook and Facebook first of all, if you think of it as Facebook, Then you're not thinking of it the right way because Facebook also includes Instagram and includes what's up and includes Oculus. So Facebook itself might not be around in 20 years
Justin: The social media platform
Mattimore: I think Instagram and Oculus are very much on the rise. What's App is still very much on the rise. And if you look at what Facebook's goal is as a company their goal is to get everyone online and to get everyone connected and one thing that I've heard Steve Jefferson talk about end up heard Mark Zuckerberg talk about is that in the next 10 years, maybe even the next five years, we're gonna go from having a third of the world's population online to having one hundred percent of the world's population online or, you know, 95% or whatever and basically what they're doing is Facebook is working to beam internet through satellites all over Africa and parts of Asia and anywhere that doesn't have access and Facebook is going to be the freeway that anyone can access the internet. And I noticed this when I was in Cuba with my friend Romel that we went there and we would ask people, you know in cafes. Oh, do you guys have Wi-Fi, you know, you guys have internet access here and they didn't even know we were talking about but they were like, oh, well you want to get on Facebook and we're like, uh, well, yeah, I get like that's part of it.
They literally thought the internet was Facebook. And I feel like this trend is gonna increase where I noticed. I noticed the same thing in Albania where people go online like a significant amount, but they only go online to visit Facebook. They're not going online doing other things, like, managing Excel spreadsheets and and whatever else they're going online through Facebook. They get all their news from there. They interact with people from there. They can kind of scary. So that's so I think Facebook is pretty well positioned and that sense. Also, I mean their ad revenue is just insane. I'm a Facebook marketer so I can see the back end of how deeply you can Target and that is only going to get better over time.
Justin: Well, they they are adding some restrictions now because there's some scary things that can happen if you can target too closely, they're kind of getting rid of some features because there's some ethical backlash on how much privacy you actually have.
Mattimore: Yeah, but it's pretty easy to get around it. e.g. they tried to stop any crypto ads. So any ad that used the word Bitcoin, they would not approve it but people got around that just by using a zero instead of an O for Bitcoin. And I've gained their platform before you know, where it'll oftentimes it'll allow you to use a certain amount of text in the image, or if it does it'll seriously doc you and give you a much higher cost per click instead what I'll do is I'll just make the text much lower res, and then it doesn't get identified as text.
Justin: It seems like they need to work on their AI a little bit.
Mattimore: Another hack for Facebook is if you launch a brand new ad it'll perform better because their system is like oh this is brand new content. It's not just some recycled content. So if I have an ad that has performed really well historically but it started to decay, I'll just show that image, but I'll slightly zoom in on a particular area or just make the cropping a little different or something like that and then there's system doesn't recognize it. So, at least now, they're not that good at managing the privacy. And controls but they will get better I would imagine.
Justin: Yeah, the other scary thing about Facebook and also YouTube for that matter is there's a lot of Ministry of Truth stuff going on. They're trying to be the thought police and you have employees that try to ban certain things
Mattimore: They just hired a thousand employees to just take on fake news.
Justin: And I think that is probably a good thing. But I think that can go too far. Like if you think about the book Fahrenheit 451, that actually started with the people the people were self-centered there's self-censoring and it eventually led to the totalitarian government censoring everything but it started with people and this is some very early stages of that sort of thing. And it's it's kind of scary to think about.
Mattimore: It's a slippery slope for sure. But I think right now they're vying more on the side of allowing a lot of information versus censoring because you know, I don't know if you saw this but Mark Zuckerberg just got a ton of flak for defending people that put out stuff denying the Holocaust. His argument was basically like look a lot of these people they don't realize what they're posting is untrue. They think that this is a legitimate news source, so. For us to ban it is a tricky situation because once you start banning certain types of things that people can discuss then that can just grow and grow like you said, but I actually think you know, even though obviously it's terrible to you know, deny horrible things that have happened in the past and that we know for sure to be true even worse to start censoring more and more stuff of what people can say, because we have to give people some credit of their ability to understand what's true and what's not although that change going forward with ... We'll see how this goes a fake news.
Justin: Yeah, I think Facebook and YouTube and all of these sorts of content sites would make the world a better place if they didn't create echo chambers. So, If you see a holocaust denial video in YouTube, the next one in your feed should be proof of the Holocaust or something to show you opposite views from the current thing that you're looking at,
Mattimore: Right so you don't get stuck in the year Loop of like are you like and exactly? I mean in my mind Facebook is really a company that is all about enjoying yourself your leisure time connecting with people. Especially how they just introduced a for ads and you know, their Oculus system is going to be growing. The reason I think they're the best position VR company is because I think they're going to be able to do VR ads and AR ads the best. Their platform is going to be the best one the most profitable one for advertising to people while they're in these augmented reality and virtual realities.
Justin: Yeah, I don't know how I feel about that. You almost want to escape to a place where there's where you're free from.
Mattimore: Well, you can pay extra for that. You can pay for the ad free version for just $199 a month. Imagine you're in a sort of an Oasis in 20 years where you put on your glasses and your gloves and whatever and you're in this virtual Facebook world and you can walk around but you meet your friends at a coffee shop and it happens to be a Starbucks shop and it's you know Starbucks paid for that but it feels very real and it doesn't feel like an over ad.
Justin: Yes, just like product placement within the virtual reality world.
Mattimore: Yeah, or you're at the beach and you're just lounging and then you see a plane fly by and it has a sign for Budweiser beer and that could very much happen in real life. But you know Budweiser paid for that placement.
Justin: So I think one of the one of the underrated sectors for virtual reality is gaming. Because the way I see virtual reality right now is people aren't going to just go to hang out. I think people are gonna enter this virtual reality world to play a game of some sort.
Mattimore: LIke Fornite.
Justin: Yeah, like Fortnite. If there was something that Viral that was virtual reality, I think that would be the thing that kicks off virtual reality.
Mattimore: I mean look at that Fortnight was a free game completely free on the Xbox. They are now worth billions of dollars and they've only been around for like six months or something.
Justin: Yeah, they haven't been around long. I wonder how sustainable it is because in addition to Fortnight you have companies like my favorite game Activision. Yeah Activision Blizzard is my favorite because they have a lot of the most popular games. I mean, they don't have League of Legends, but they have very similar games to League of Legends. They have Overwatch. They have Starcraft which is one of the one of the breeding grounds for developing general AI and there they've created their own API, so companies can actually interact with their Starcraft games. You've also got let's see Call of Duty obviously is a big one. Candy Crush is lumped in with all of those like all the mobile games, because they own the king gaming company. And I think I think there's a lot of stuff that's probably going on in those big gaming companies. That is really pushing virtual reality forward in probably also a I mean AI fits with gaming so well, especially the more complex games. It seems like that will be one of the first places that very good narrow AI or general AI stems from.
Mattimore: Well, it's interesting what you said at the beginning of this podcast about how these big tech companies are very complimentary. Like if you look at Facebook, it is basically what you do in your downtime, you connect with people you go into VR World whatever you can advertise. Apple is the high-end Tech ecosystem that you use for your own life. Microsoft and then you know Android and Google are more like the mass-market, tech system that you use for your life. Overall Google can be called a machine learning company that happens to make money like Google basically just builds whatever will result in many people giving them your their data.
Then you have Amazon which is the backbone of the US economy potentially the world eventually and people get freaked out by that but my feeling is that it's way better for the us if Amazon makes all of our logistics and all of our economies and all of our shipping and all of our web systems if it makes it that much more seamless that much more effective and then if it can expand globally that's just a huge win for the US and then you might feel differently if you're listening to this from Russia or China.
But yeah, I mean they all do fit in very nicely with one another and one company we haven't talked at all about is Netflix. I mean, they're still somewhat smaller, you know, they're only 140 billion versus Apple and Google and you know, they're closer to a trillion. Yeah, it's growing very rapidly.
Justin: I think they're gonna be another good VR content company. I think it'll be more of an observatory VR world where you go in and you're just immersed in another scene kind of like dreams where you're just kind of observing a whole bunch of things going on and not as much of an actor when you're third person, but you'll be the third person of some of these movies.
Mattimore: Yeah, e.g. You're watching a movie but rather than having the director decide where you focus your eyes and every scene you decide where you focus your eyes and you can look all around and yeah, I think that's that could be awesome. Yeah. I mean I would I would have put Netflix higher on my list except I think YouTube's user-generated content and also Facebook has so much user-generated content also. It's hard to compete with that when you're producing a lot of it yourself but in the premium content space Netflix is definitely showing very good signs. I mean, they're about to surpass Disney which Disney has been around for a while and Netflix is very new fact that they're already surpassing them, it's going to be tough for these. Big tech companies or sorry for the bigger media companies to continue to survive and in viacom's been having some issues but I think they can innovate. It's just a matter of how quickly they can innovate.
Justin: Yeah, that's that's always the issue. One last thing I wanted to kind of touch on um, but it's such a wild card at this point. Is companies like SpaceX and companies that will follow SpaceX into interplanetary companies and businesses because I think the amount of wealth that can be generated and the amount of resource that we can get from other planets is insane.
If we can just expand to the moon and Mars, there's the problem of inequality, but I think the overall wealth will skyrocket and I hope that that can sort of be distributed.
Mattimore: Are there valuable minerals on the moon or what would we extract?
Justin: I don't know. That's why I said it to wild card because I don't know much about astrogeology or astrobiology. But I think that's a space that is really poised to bring everything beyond what we can conceive right now because we're we're constrained to Earth resources and Earth wealth, but when we expand to other planets, I think that there's the potential to skyrocket everything we know.
I mean we could have data centers that span half the Moon. And instead of having satellites shooting stuff down or instead of beaming data from Earth up to a satellite and then to another point on Earth you could beam directly from the Moon to a satellite and then to Earth which actually will probably be a longer path.
Mattimore: Right but there are some advantages as far as not having to deal with gravity.
Justin: well, yeah, especially for if you wanted to like make on stations. Oh, yeah, the solar energy in space is also way higher when you don't have the atmosphere to deal with.
Mattimore: The only company of our list that has a plan for that is Amazon right Blue Origin
Justin: Are they the same thing? I don't know why I thought they were separate companies.
Mattimore: Well, I think they're underneath the umbrella right? It might be separately founded by Jeff Bezos actually, but I mean it's you know, it's still within the Jeff Bezos world. So I pretty much consider that um, yeah, but yeah, it's not like we see apple or even Google you would think Google would have some space program.
Justin: They probably do and we just don't know about it.
Mattimore: Okay, so I think just to wrap it up, maybe we should do like a very broad Strokes best case worst case most likely. I guess it depends on which companies you like, so let's start with the worst case. So in my mind and I'm definitely biased as an American but in my mind the worst case would be if Alibaba or some other giant Chinese firm became the first AI player and the most dominant AI player and basically that resulted in the whole world's economy and Logistics being run by essentially China and then we go towards a more tyrannical government. That's the worst case scenario is if a company from a country that does not value free speech and free thought if that wins out that to me is the worst case scenario.
Justin: Yeah, agreed. And that's not saying China in general is bad. It's just the values are much different from what we hold.
Mattimore: They value the collective Americans in the west tend to value the individual and ideally you'd find a strike a balance with that. In certain circumstances if there are hostages and you need to break open a back door through a phone to save the hostages. It's hard to argue that you should not create a back door. But when you think of the effects of that when that back door can be used by the government to see what your political values are and put a hit on you - obviously, that's bad.
My best case scenario would be if companies continue to compete by having the most privacy and keeping your best interests at heart. I think that's why Apple has been so effective in part is because people know Apple will not give away your data. They will go to bat for you even against the FBI we've seen Apple will keep your data safe and always work to create the world that is most natural for you as a caveman. So I think that's the best case scenario, but ideally, you know Amazon grows, to be the backbone of the US economy other smaller businesses can still compete because they just use Amazon for all the boring logistical stuff like shipping and you know getting people to know about their products, but they can still do what they love and ideally Amazon and Google they would not have tax havens and instead they would be taxed by the government and because they create such enormous profits in such enormous wealth that would be shared and redistributed to all people in the United States and eventually all people globally and we would essentially have these tech giants working for us to create the best possible world and the wealth would be shared with all and then people can just focus on what they love to do. That's the best-case scenario. Yeah, and the most likely is a mix where it's you have some companies that care about privacy and care about what's best for you and some companies that just care about a profit and because of aggressive pricing, they remain a behemoth even though they're not what most people would choose as their Ideal company.
Justin: Yeah, that's honestly sort of what I was thinking for my worst case is to have a single one of these companies dominate by an order of magnitude like they are the company. They hold a monopoly over tech, AI anyting and I don't even necessarily think if it's a Chinese company that it would I think even if it was only Google that had an AI things wouldn't necessarily turn out the best for us.
Mattimore: Yeah. Well, it depends a lot about the value system of Google and if it's managed independently versus if it becomes part of the democratic system where it's like really does take the interests of all people into account. Yeah to see how they'll be forced to do that. Yeah, once that much power. I mean, I agree with you. I think the best case is if there's some sort of an oligopoly where there's multiple big Tech Giants but it's not like one of them just owns everything.
Justin: Yeah, that's kind of what I was gonna say, but I just want there to be enough freedom for anybody any other company. To have the opportunity to compete I think if there's not a startup scene, if there's no way to start a business that can eventually beat out these top companies that that's a problem but I think in the best case, there's still a healthy ecosystem of competition and you know, we can keep the good parts of capitalism running.
Mattimore: I'm in agreement.
Justin: Let's see likely I think things will probably remain relatively how they are now. There's probably going to be a handful of companies that find their own niches at the top and they ontinue to be complementary and if a start-up gets too big they'll just be acquired by one of these tech giants. I think this is probably a good place to wrap up.
Mattimore: Yeah. So thank you all so much for listening. This has been the future of big Tech if you have any questions about it, you can shoot us an email. Check us out on social media. @hencethefuture is our handle on all social media channels. Our website is hencethefuture.com and if you put a suggestion in our suggestion box, we will answer that topic. We've already gotten a couple good suggestions that we are thinking about when to have those discussions and our next episode next week will be the future of jobs and automation.
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Mattimore and Justin