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Is Silicon Valley Killing Democracy?

Is Silicon Valley Killing Democracy?

Michael Krauss

Move Fast and Break Things

There’s talk about whether five major technology innovators—Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple—have achieved such market dominance that they should be regulated. As with Standard Oil at the turn of the last century or AT&T in 1984, have these five technology leaders achieved too much power and market influence over our society?

These firms are the drivers of innovation and growth in the global economy. They provide lower cost, greater efficiency and enormous consumer benefits, but Jonathan Taplin, director emeritus of the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California, argues that Google, Amazon and Facebook have “hijacked the original decentralized vision of the internet” and created monopolies that “now determine the future of the music, film, publishing and news industries.”


Taplin’s book, Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy, offers an important perspective on the technology revolution to which marketers should be alert: Revolutions, whether the French Revolution of the 18th century or the Russian Revolution of the 20th century, often overreach and fail to achieve their original vision.


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Michael Krauss is president of Market Strategy Group based in Chicago.