Move Fast and Break Things
An honest albeit opinionated look at the monopolies enjoyed by Amazon, Facebook and Google… Taplin is very good at exploring ties between the businesses and the government, and offers insight as to how this unregulated monopoly is skewed to the 1 per cent of “content generators.” — Read the complete FT review
Google. Amazon. Facebook. The modern world is defined by vast digital monopolies turning ever-larger profits. But it didn’t have to be this way.
In Move Fast and Break Things, Jonathan Taplin, a fifty year veteran of the entertainment industry, offers a succinct and powerful history of how online life was shaped around the libertarian values of entrepreneurs like Peter Thiel and Larry Page. Their unprecedented growth came at the heavy cost of tolerating piracy of books, music and film, while at the same time promoting opaque business practices and subordinating the privacy of individual users.
It is the story of a massive reallocation of revenue, in which $50 billion a year has moved from artists, creators and owners of content to the monopoly platforms. With this reallocation of money comes a shift in power. Google, Facebook and Amazon now enjoy political influence on par with Big Oil and Big Pharma.
And if you think that’s got nothing to do with you, the next step for these companies is to come after your jobs.
Move Fast and Break Things is a call to arms; to say enough is enough and to demand that we do everything we can to fight the power of these tech giants. It’s a book that combines the righteous activism of No Logo, the outrageous antiheroes of The Big Short, and the dystopian sci-fi of Dave Eggers’ The Circle – except this is no novel. This our new reality.