If you took a look at the Forbes Rich List of billionaires, focussing on the top ten in particular and further narrowing your focus down to those featured billionaires who are in the tech industry, you’ll realise that over the years, the same people pretty much remain in these upper echelons of the world’s wealthiest. Why is that though?
Well, beyond a certain point of wealth it’s really just a situation of being way too big to fail, not in the way financial institutions which repeatedly receive taxpayer bailouts are “too big to fail,” but in the literal sense. In the same way that beyond a certain point of having wealth doesn’t really matter in relation to how much more your fellow billionaire neighbour has (you can only buy so many yachts, carry so many diamond-encrusted mobile phones, etc), beyond a certain point it doesn’t really matter how much of the money you have is spent.
Take Bill Gates for example. The Microsoft company which he built holds so much financial power that just the name itself will perhaps always be associated with one which can always draw investors should the long shot of it every going bankrupt happen. Perhaps more realistically though, a name such as Microsoft has the financial power to draw people and start-up companies seeking investment and that is where the giants’ advantage of the likes of Google, Facebook, Microsoft and even Apple lies.
We’ve seen companies come and go, many of which leveraged the power of contemporary trends, like how Facebook got it dead-right as a social network which truly capitalised on various tech developments which make the process of sharing and connecting online that much easier. There were many social networks before and even after Facebook blew up, in the same way that there were many search companies fighting Google for market share. Linux (of which the Apple Mac OS is a derivative) is a big competitor of Microsoft’s Windows Operating System software as well, which just goes to show that competition will always be there.
These giants of the tech industry however, some of which operate in the same space, remain at the forefront because of the giants’ advantage which they hold, which comes in the form of the financial muscle they have to invest in, develop and even sometimes take bets on many other up-and-coming ventures, many of which go on to blow up big-time themselves.