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wealth created by tech companies


shalab
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As groupon gets ready for the IPO, it is interesting to see how much wealth is created and destroyed by tech companies. Here is a break down of companies by market value

 

MSFT    200 billion

IBM        200 billion

ORCL      165 billion

GOOG      170 billion

AAPL      320 billion

FCBK      80 billion

AMZN      85 billion

CSCO      80 billion   

NFLX, groupon, zillows, expedia, lnkd, jnpr etc. 100 billion

 

Total: 1.4 trillion dollars

total:

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It is truely amazing yes. You even left out a lot of well-known companies and there is probably a lot more left from many smaller companies like NVDA, WDC, ...

 

HPQ 80b

DELL 30b

TXN 40b

INTC 115b

 

etc etc.

 

Can't you just check nasdaq's total market cap or something?  ;)

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As groupon gets ready for the IPO, it is interesting to see how much wealth is created and destroyed by tech companies. Here is a break down of companies by market value

 

MSFT     200 billion

IBM        200 billion

ORCL      165 billion

GOOG      170 billion

AAPL       320 billion

FCBK       80 billion

AMZN      85 billion

CSCO      80 billion     

NFLX, groupon, zillows, expedia, lnkd, jnpr etc. 100 billion

 

Total: 1.4 trillion dollars

total:

 

 

The wealth accrued to shareholders of tech companies is minuscule compared to the wealth accrued to society and to the non-tech companies, by use of their technology. Let us take a company like Microsoft. The popularity and use of PC's exploded in last 30 years and brought efficiency, economies of scale to many businesses. Walmart would never be able to process information without the hardware and software from  IBM, SUN, ORCL, MSFT etc.

 

Coke can thank its increased market cap due to the better logistics, better back office operations, better supply chain etc The technology improvements in medical field have increased life expectancy, quality of life.

 

I think Gates the businessman has contributed 100 times to society as Gates the philanthropist.

 

Probably a great majority of this 3% productivity growth in US could be contributed by tech companies.

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Guest VAL9000

 

It's worth noting that the problems that Gates is tackling today are the kinds of problems that Gates is uniquely positioned to solve.  Gates is able to take a very long term view and commit huge capital to solve problems that otherwise might go untouched for decades.

 

I like to see this as further compounding of his contributions, rather than a relative comparison of value.

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I think Gates the businessman has contributed 100 times to society as Gates the philanthropist.

 

I agree, only more so. I think you are off by many many orders of magnitude.

 

--Eric

 

 

Do you really think so?  Remember that that MSFT was a convicted monopolist.  The real question is, what would the world have been like without MSFT and all the monopolistic practices it engaged in over the 10 years or so when Gates led the company.  I'm really surprised that people see Gates' past actions at MSFT in such a positive light these days. (no doubt his philanthropic actions are fabulous).   I lived through the days when MSFT cast a very big shadow over the industry, and many people argued that MSFT killed a lot of innovation, and a lot of competitors, through uncompetitive practices.  Now that the tables have finally started turning with large players like GOOG, AAPL, AMZN, and others (who are big enough to stand up to MSFT), we are seeing a rebirth of innovation in the web, devices, and software.  Many would argue that MSFT prevented that for years by engaging in monopolistic practices..  Think about how slow browser innovation had been for years until Firefox and Chrome came on the scene.

 

I'm not saying he didn't add a lot of value, just that I wonder how much more would have been added had his company not been a ruthless monopoly.

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The part I never understood was while many accuse Microsoft of monopolistic practices, in the book "founders at work" the firefox founder said he was not at all intimidated by Microsoft, and he just decided he could make a better browser.  To him, Microsoft was driven by competition, not innovation, and that makes them a lot less scary than people who were driven by innovation.

It didn't seem microsoft was able to stop Firefox from being developed.  Some genius had the gut to develop this thing, and Microsoft had no ability to prevent him from doing so.

Also, what did Microsoft do to stop Google from making a page-rank based search engine?  Again, the Google founders didn't say, oh my god Microsoft is out there, let's not do research on internet search algorithms.

Same with apple, when they decided to dominate mobile devices, Microsoft could do nothing to stop them.

Plus, microsoft STILL HAS A MONOPOLY on PC operating systems.  It's just the PC is less relevant than it was before, and Microsoft, in their vigiliant pursuit to protect their existing businesses, became a lot less focused on innovation.

I don't get how Microsoft delayed any of these other businesses from dominating their current markets, they merely prevented people from dominating Windows and Office, which are in many ways superior products to their competition. 

There seems to be the belief that in tech someone like Microsoft can do a lot to prevent innovation, which is very ironic because other company's innovation are clobbering them now.  When faced against real innovation, the result has been that innovation won. 

This has been the cycle for many decades, and doesn't just apply to Microsoft.  There are plenty of potential "google killers" out there laboring on front of their terminals.  Google can do nothing to stop it.

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The fact that a few innovative companies were able to have some success against Microsoft doesn't imply that their anti-competitive practices didn't hurt humanity.  You can't say ivory poaching is fine because there are still some wild elephants.

 

Perhaps there were 10,000 companies struggling to succeed, and 3 did, whereas without Microsoft, 500 would have.  Perhaps there would be true artificial intelligence now or a polynomial-time algorithm for solving NP-complete problems, or a multitude of other beneficial advances if Microsoft hadn't been anti-competitive.

 

 

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