The mere existence of the web has ended an era and started another; one that is defined by mindblowing technologies and a different way of life. Imagine what life in the 70s, 80s, 90s, and early 2000s were. If you weren’t personally living through these times, it is quite hard to relate to, right? Even when you watch old TV shows and movies, seeing how people lived during these times will make you wonder how they survived without getting bored to death. Yes, boredom is something that the Internet has virtually rendered irrelevant. How can you even say that you are bored anymore when you can do lots of things on the web and you won’t mind the hours ticking by.
If you think about Internet innovation or the continued advancements on the web today, America is almost always at the top of people’s mind because most big tech companies are found here. However, experts have noticed how these very same big tech brands seem to be dampening the Internet’s progress, thereby preventing the growth of small startups from stealing a piece of their pie. After all, business comes first. We may have seen many of the major breakthroughs made their debut on American soil but big tech brands end up monopolizing the industry in general.
There are multiple reasons why countries like the U.S. have accounted for the bulk of the world’s internet innovation over the past few decades. Simply put, the U.S. is an attractive market with a common language, common currency and common regulatory policy supporting private infrastructure investment, including wireless and wireline networks delivering internet connection. This is not the case in the European Union, where innovators have to contend with 28 nations, 24 languages and 17 currencies.
The U.S. is indeed an innovation hub. However, it’s on the verge of losing this advantage if it continues on with overregulation and doesn’t guard against piecemeal internet policy frameworks.
If you look at the World Wide Web today, there are five companies that stand out among the rest whose power and influence spans continents and we’ll call them as the frightful five. In a world like ours today that is defined by technology, smart gadgets, and the Internet of Things, it is easy to easy how these companies have built their empires that even governments pale in comparison to the extent of their ability to dictate society, our way of life, and the future of mankind. What many of you are not aware of is that these companies also own a bunch of other businesses that roughly got everything else covered that matters in this planet making it doubly harder for other businesses to thrive.
So what makes them frightful, first of all, is that they are very, very big. And they play a huge role – they all play sort of huge roles in our lives kind of personally and at a kind of society-wide level. So if you live kind of a modern American life, it’s impossible to, you know, to live without all of them for most people. And more than that, they sort of are being asked to do and they kind of know more about us than any corporations in history. They’re more – they’ve become kind of more like governments than companies with the amount of money they have, with the kind of power they have over democracy in society.
We’re seeing that with the way that, you know, news on Facebook and Google affected the election, with their impact on the economy, you know, the way they’re disrupting kind of how retail works, with their impact on jobs and inequality. And eventually, you know, they’re all working on artificial intelligence. And their technologies will affect probably most of our jobs. Most of the ways that people make money now are going to be changed by technologies that these companies make.
How do they trump innovation then, one might ask. Well, by dominating the market, they limit the opportunity for small businesses to prosper or for them to even have a fighting chance to get their names out there. The irony here is that they make money every single time these smaller businesses use their online platforms while the average entrepreneurs struggle to make ends meet and rise above the endless competition. You don’t even have to look far to understand how this monopoly works. All you need is to simply check out the web. There are many smaller tech businesses in there, true, but they still need to get their business heard using any of the frightful five as platforms. They may make money but the five still makes the most money as they earn from other people’s success as well, thereby killing not only innovation but these businesses as well.