Americans justifiably have long taken great pride in the unmatched ability of the U.S. economy to enable entrepreneurs to launch and grow highly innovative companies that drive growth and advance living standards. Bold entrepreneurs and the companies they founded brought us modern communications, airplanes, automobiles, computer software and hardware, and electricity and other forms of energy to power them all.
These innovations and others have constantly reshaped and remade our economy – displacing less efficient technologies and ways of doing business in a process of “creative destruction” that economist Joseph Schumpeter, many decades ago, singled out as the most important feature of capitalist economies.
The most innovative and valuable companies of our time are the leading “technology platform” companies: Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google – a group New York University Professor Scott Galloway simply labels “The Four.” Except for Apple, none of these companies existed before 1990. That they have eclipsed in the public mind – in such a relatively short amount of time – such other tech giants as Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco and Intel is a testament to the remarkable acumen of the founders and leaders of The Four, their highly skilled workforces, and to the economy and society that have enabled them to flourish.