Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google” as Want to Read:
The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  6,546 ratings  ·  758 reviews

Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are the four most influential companies on the planet. Just about everyone thinks they know how they got there. Just about everyone is wrong.

For all that's been written about the Four over the last two decades, no one has captured their power and staggering success as insightfully as Scott
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Portfolio
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Four, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Johnson Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,546 ratings  ·  758 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Glad this book was a very short read, since it’s not worth much of anyone’s time. I tend to not write my thoughts up on books I’ve read in a formalized fashion, but this one can’t slip by. 

Galloway’s writing style is insufferable, and right off the bat in the introduction demonstrates himself to be an egomaniac misogynist who has a chip on his shoulder for everything wrong that has happened to him over the course of his career. Yes, things happen to him that cause problems in his life (many busi
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
I agreed with several reviewers that the book uncovered few new insights, yet my biggest issue was the author’s lack of focus. The book tried to cross among business strategy, business history and self-help genres, unfortunately failed to stand out in any.
The contents within each chapter could have used better organization and less digression. One had to weed out non-essential chatters, like the author’s ideology in social responsibilities and the detailed account regarding to his boardroom setb
Quintin Zimmermann
Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Scott Galloway equates the Big Four - Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon - to the Four Horseman of god, love, sex and consumption respectively.

The author proceeds to examine and deconstruct the strategies that the Four employed in becoming the present giants of industry, the exploitation of their own mythologies and consumer habits as well as their overt and covert anti-competitive techniques to stifle their competition.

This is all extremely illuminating, but there isn't much new here that you
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is terrifying and hilarious and necessary. Everyone should be reading this—especially policy makers and young people. The horsemen of the apocalypse will not be faceless nameless terrifying beasts. They’ll be the friendly trustworthy platforms we all use. What do we even do as consumers? That’s the most depressing part. We need the ease and speed of amazon because we’re too overworked to sown our days at Target. As for apple, he’s got my number. Why have I been holding on to the fancy boxes ...more
Bernd Schiffer
Nov 14, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
According to the book description, "…Galloway [the author] exposes the truth about these 'Four Horsemen"'. For me, his explanations and comments are utterly sensational and without any substance. The author is also not considering important aspects, therefore only delivering half (or even less) of the story.

I stopped reading at the beginning of the third chapter. The first chapter is an overall introduction, the second is about Amazon, the third about Apple. In the second chapter, the author pic
Gretchen Alice
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
My library is the coolest. For our staff holiday party, we arranged a Secret Santa book exchange where you'd be paired up with someone who read different genres from you*. Their assignment was to pair you up with a book outside of your normal reading patterns** and my "santa" gave me The Four, since I don't read a whole lot of nonfiction. This is exactly the kind of book where I would read the jacket copy, think "oh, that looks interesting," and then never get around to reading it.
Scott Gallowa
Phillip Saginario
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
1. Feel weird about buying this on Amazon
2. Too many fun facts
3. Disorganized and surface level

Pockets of insight
Oct 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Engaging and interesting but the humor might not be for everyone.
Filip Struhárik
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Pre mňa bolo zaujímavé čítať najmä o tom, ako sa autor knihy pokúsil v rokoch 2008 - 2010 ovládnuť redakciu New York Times, zmeniť stratégiu firmy, stiahnuť všetky články z Googlu a tým zachrániť Timesy aj žurnalistiku ako takú.

Scott Galloway má z výšky svojho ega pocit, že do najlepšej redakcie sveta doniesol myšlienky, aké tam predtým ani potom už nikdy nikto nemal, že mál odhodlanie, no narazil na pribrzdených ľudí, ktorí nerozumejú modernej dobe. Jasné, médiá zaspali dobu, no to neznamená,
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is excellent.
Galloway deep dives into how these companies know how to exploit our primal instincts. Extremely interesting take. It’s hard to argue he’s wrong. I wish I could take his class at NYU, but like he mentioned, they charge $62K per class, $500 per minute, and it’s criminal.

Amazon will take over the world; many jobs in retail will disappear. Bezos is a genius, and secretly and in plain sight, evil. I have Amazon stock, so I’m ok with it. Though it’s not my fault, can other com
Oct 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Not particularly new information, but a nice clear analysis of how these companies came to be as big and successful as they are. On the one hand Galloway seems to be primarily impressed by their succes, on the other hand, luckily, he's also critical:"The world needs more homes with engaged parents, not a better fucking phone."

I was disappointed coming to the end of the book where Galloway gives career advice on how to be as successful as these companies. Apparently it would be worth it to work a
John Plowright
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘The Four’ considers the enormous power accrued – for good and for (tax-avoiding, job-destroying, fake news-propagating) ill – by the big four technology giants Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

This examination takes place at a very interesting time for, as author Scott Galloway makes abundantly clear, the only competition the Four face is from each other, and the race is now on between them to become the premier operating system.

The first half of the book looks at the history of retail and th
Vivian Đình
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hay và thú vị tới mức táo bạo!!

Phần đầu hơi khó đọc, nhất là đối với mấy đứa không chuyên về kinh tế như mình, nhiều thuật ngữ chuyên ngành quá làm mình hơi nản tí. Nhưng sang những phần sau, từ đoạn giới thiệu về Apple, Facebook trở đi thì bắt đầu đọc không ngừng luôn. Tác giả viết rất thẳng tay, táo tợn, ý kiến ngược hẳn với những định nghĩa trước giờ về bộ tứ này, làm mình mở mang hẳn khá nhiều kiến thức mới lạ và thú vị về họ.

Tuy nhiên nhiều khúc tác giả còn hơi cá nhân hóa ý kiến bản thân
E. H. Nathasia
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A really good book. My rating 4.5/5.
Diana Nassar
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you don't want to read a whole book on each of The Four tech giants then, obviously, this book is for you.
Scott Galloway captures the strategy, strength, and "wow" factors of each of these companies by mapping them to the Four Hoursemen of god, love, sex, and consumption [guess which is which. Daha.]. I think this mapping methodology, besides being catchy, made the book quite relevant and easy to follow.
However, in my personal opinion, this mapping limited the comprehensiveness of the book. I
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was a very shallow overview of four large tech companies (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google). If you follow basic tech industry news, you will learn nothing new. The author, Scott Galloway, is a professor at NYU Stern and thinks that learning about these 4 companies should be the entire curriculum of the second year of business school. This claim did not help establish his credibility to me. He ends every write up of a company by making larger statement about society and adding some pithy ...more
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
What’s with this guy’s fixation on sex? Look, I know sexual attraction is a huge part of marketing and humanity’s base instincts, yatta yatta. But he talks about it so much! Always making everything out to be about wanting to get laid and how this guy with that product probably has never been laid and this woman with that product would never have sex with that guy.... etc, etc. If this was written by a guy in his 20s or 30s I’d probably be just as annoyed but just roll my eyes. But this is a guy ...more
Oct 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a nonfiction/science/technology book. The author focuses in on Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google and does a nice little analysis on how these monsters have managed to corner the market. My inner geek found this kind of fascinating. It was amusing, and I enjoyed the sarcastic humor. That part was 4 stars.

Now this did feel a little long, and towards the end, it unravels a 3 stars.
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
"My nightmare job is the "invisible until you fuck up" position. It's never been a better time to be exceptional, or a worse time to be average."
Steven Zachary
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely worth the read, just skip the last three chapters.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: media
"We forget most of the world's major organizations are run by humans, middle-aged humans, who have enormous egos that ensure they, on a regular basis, make an emotional/irrational decision."

"Increasingly, robots will perform many of the functions of human employees, almost as well, without annoying requests to leave early to pick up their kid from karate."

"All four do more for less, and all put people out of work."

"There's no way the economy will be able to create enough jobs to replace those be
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Scott Galloway is a bad-ass business school prof (at NYU) and he's got the goods on Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are taking over the world. This is either a good thing, or the final hours of the apocalypse. depending on how you think about these companies. Galloway gives you evidence for both views, and in more detail than I've seen anywhere else. There aren't really a lot of surprises -- it's just a little more thoroughgoing. But you've read most of this stuff before in pieces if you keep ...more
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Scott Galloway write a no-holds-barred account of what he feels the four horsemen of doom are up to. In two words - world domination.

A snippet:
Will their strategy—or Amazon’s—eventually emerge victorious? Or will they somehow accommodate each other and carve out a separate peace? The answer will not only decide the fate of companies, but millions of workers and households as well. What’s clear is that we need business leaders who envision, and enact, a future with more jobs—not billionaires wh
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it
It's such an interesting topic, and he's such a brilliant guy - I'm disappointed this was not a better book. It's worth reading, but it's such a weird jumble of fact and opinion, with advice thrown in for young entrepreneurs or who knows who, that it's hard to pinpoint what it's good for.
I loved his recent interviews on how heavy regulation is coming for Google and Facebook, and on Facebook and its ad screening potential. He seems a genuinely smart guy. And yet - I can't even remember what the b
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
The author swears and uses a lot of strong language that I don’t think the subject necessitates, particularly in the amount presented. I heard the author speak at one of the keynote sessions at a work conference I recently attended. He was just as, in my opinion, needlessly brash in that forum as well but his points were intriguing and are what interested me in checking out this book. There are a lot of well thought out arguments with supporting data in the book and he keeps things very engaging ...more
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Favorite quote from this book:

Mitt Romney was wrong--corporations aren't people. As British Lord Chancellor Edward Thurow observed more than two centuries ago, business enterprises "have neither bodies to be punished, nor souls to be condemned." As such, they do not deserve your affection or your loyalty, nor can they repay it in kind. Churches, countries, and even the occasional private firm have been touting loyalty to abstract organizations for centuries, usually as a ploy to convince young p
May 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty interesting, something new to learn, but disorganized and a lot of repetitions.
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Scary read. Author’s writing style can be in-your-face off-putting and unnecessarily vulgar at times but he backs up everything he says. An eye-opener of a book.
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Glad to have read, though wouldn’t say a must read to everybody.

Quite contemporary and relevant, healthy dose of sarcasm and criticism, and helpful yet sad affirmation of the state of socioeconomic games played by bright minds of our generation
Yang Saboya
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Got to know the DNA of the four and Scott also connects to companies like Alibaba, Tesla. Those suggestions for young people are quite useful.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
How to fix Facebook error code 602? 1 1 Apr 25, 2019 06:34AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Build an A-Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve
  • Decoding the New Consumer Mind: How and Why We Shop and Buy
  • Mapping Innovation: A Playbook for Navigating a Disruptive Age
  • Tilt: Shifting Your Strategy from Products to Customers
  • Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence
  • Grouped: How Small Groups of Friends Are the Key to Influence on the Social Web
  • The Content Trap
  • Programming Beyond Practices: Be More Than Just a Code Monkey
  • Endgame: The End of the Debt Supercycle and How It Changes Everything
  • The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power
  • Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom)
  • By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission
  • Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future
  • LBJ: The Mastermind of JFK's Assassination
  • The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World
  • Taking People With You: The Only Way to Make BIG Things Happen
  • Six Billion Shoppers: The Companies Winning the Global E-Commerce Boom
  • The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions . . . and Created Plenty of Controversy
See similar books…
Scott Galloway is a clinical professor of marketing at the New York University Stern School of Business, and a public speaker, author, and entrepreneur. He was named one of the world's 50 best business school professors by Poets and Quants.
“Don’t follow your passion, follow your talent.” 14 likes
“teach 120 kids on Tuesday nights in my Brand Strategy course. That’s $720,000, or $60,000 per class, in tuition payments, a lot of it financed with debt. I’m good at what I do, but walking in each night, I remind myself we (NYU) are charging kids $500/minute for me and a projector. This. Is. Fucking. Ridiculous.” 8 likes
More quotes…