Friday, September 19, 2008

Starbucks, Apple, Google, Amazon: The Common Thread

What do Starbucks, Apple, Google & Amazon have in common? Check out this recent story from the Washington Post:

SAGA: Four Companies That Have Changed The Landscape
The Washington Post
Four corporations represent a distinctive and distinctively American contribution to 21st-century capitalism: Starbucks, Apple, Google and Amazon. Collectively, call them SAGA. At the most basic level, each has transformed not only a specific commercial marketplace but also some important aspect of contemporary life.

Each has a ubiquitous presence, although being everywhere doesn't mean that they are necessarily market leaders. The proportion of computer users who own Apples will probably never catch up to the formidable PC, for example. But in many countries, iPod usage is surging, and all the world wants an iPhone.

SAGA companies follow their founders and engage consumers on an almost spiritual level. They reflect the comparative advantage of today's America - the dramatic shift away from domestic manufacturing and toward an idea-driven, consumer-focused, value-added economy. At the same time, they are genuinely global. They also are restless innovators. None of these companies made its business by being the first to add any new physical thing to peoples' lives. - Read the whole story...

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