The Five Big Guys

I’m working on writing up my thesis on the future of the consumer technology business and have convinced myself that there are 5 companies that stand to dominate. I call them The Five Big Guys. This post lays the ground work for that thesis by discussing these 5 companies.

In 1989 I read the tea-leaves and made the call that Windows was going to dominate and OS/2 was going to fail. I felt I was right so strongly that I bet my career on it by writing apps for Windows.  In the intervening 22 years I have not had nearly as much clarity around what was going to happen next in the industry.

But I do now.

Today there are 5 companies who are major forces in consumer technology. There may be a sixth or seventh, and any one of the five I identify here may be dethroned by a black swan, but for now these are it (alphabetic order):

  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Microsoft

I’ve picked these because I believe they already have unstoppable momentum, or have the necessary components to become unstoppable.

I do not believe anything is black or white; and I do not believe in the idea of “a winner” over the long term in an industry as broad and dynamic as consumer technology. There will be multiple winners and I am willing to be that these five, in 3-5 years, will be regarded as the most important and influential companies.

If you can only choose 5, who else would you put on this list, and who would you knock off?

© Charlie Kindel. All Rights Reserved.

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