Techlash is a term used to describe the growing unease regarding the unregulated, exponential power of big tech companies.
Everyone from US Democratic Presidential nominee, Elizabeth Warren, to President Donald Trump himself have attacked technology companies for the power that they now wield; and have threatened to severely regulate their operations and business models
'...the fight around corporate taxation (which is still ongoing); Edward Snowden’s revelations; the Uber wars across the world; the fear for jobs being displaced by automation; the idea that social media contributes to corrupting democracy; the realisation that tech has a problem with gender; the never-ending Facebook crisis in the US; the highly publicised debacles of companies like Theranos and WeWork; and the fact that Obama has left the stage only to be replaced by, well, Donald Trump.' - via
With all of this going on you would think that customers and the market they serve would be shrinking and dying, but big tech has never been in better shape.
What a dreamy fortnight this has been for Silicon Valley. Not only has the industry’s earnings season been dominated by record sales and fat profits but for the first time four of the biggest companies — Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Alphabet — exceeded $1tn valuations at the same time. - via FT
This is not exactly the result we all expected from an industry under so much scrutiny.
No matter how much bad press and regulatory scrutiny tech companies receive they continue to make products customers want to buy. Even the puffed up valuations of the biggest companies look mild compared with the latest Tesla rally. Prices are up 75 per cent this year alone and it appears to be driven by investors hopping on the bandwagon of enthusiasm for the electric cars that Tesla makes.
The fact is that these big tech companies have unbelievably strong brands - and I'm not just referring to the well-publicised way in which they treat their employees or the fact that their CEOs are household names.
They have strong brands in that they have built a resilient and robust portfolio of innovative and unique products and services that is practically impossible for any other company to compete with.
You try boycott Google for a day.
Try not use Youtube or Netflix for an entire weekend.
Try get that e-book that you desperately want to read on your Kindle from Exclusive Books.
What these big tech giants are then offering as a value proposition is so strong that it is pretty much unbearable to be without them.
That's great branding and the perfect antidote to serious PR headwinds.
It's not so much of a case of the business being too big to fail, rather it's a case of the brand being too strong to stray.