Over the last two decades, five major tech companies have come to completely dominate most ecommerce and technology in general. Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook have become more powerful than even the most rapacious robber barons of the late 19th century could have dreamed of. And now, according to some, they are threatening the very ability of the country to continue forward on a competitive footing in an increasingly globalized and democratic world.
Shervin Pishevar ranks among the most widely respected tech entrepreneurs of the current age. He is the founder and CEO of Sherpa Capital, one of the most successful venture capital firms in the world of technology. He has been responsible for the creation of such names as Virgin Hyperloop, Uber, Airbnb and Social Gaming Network.
Now, Shervin Pishevar says that out-of-control monopolies in the tech space have reached a size and level of power over the markets that is becoming truly pernicious. In a recent tweet storm, which lasted nearly a full day, Shervin Pishevar expounded on some of the concepts that he sees as being increasingly important regarding the abuse by tech monopolies of their far-reaching power.
One idea that Shervin Pishevar has repeatedly hit on is the fact that tech monopolies like Google are now able to stifle innovation before it becomes a competitive threat. They do this with the legal version of the old Mexican plata o plomo, cash or lead. Shervin Pishevar says that the racket works like the following.
A new company comes on the scene with new technology or new methods of carrying out some important process. This company may only exist for a few months to a few years. But if Google or another major tech monopoly sees them as a potential future threat, then they can offer what seems to the founders like a huge sum of money. And, in most cases, it is a huge sum of money.
But this almost always causes the destruction of the company, with the firm ending up folded into some department at Google or Facebook, perhaps discontinuing its operations completely. The real play, of course, was simply to neutralize any future competitive threat.