How Elon Musk and the Big Tech 'Robber Barons' Met Their Match
Matthew Gwyther reports on how the titans of Big Tech spectacularly overplayed their hands
When I last wrote for the Byline Times about Big Tech two years ago, everything seemed to be going swimmingly. The sector was awash with cash and riding a wave of almost messianic enthusiasm. Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook had an extraordinary third quarter, with $38 billion in profits on nearly $240 billion in revenue. Amazon’s profits were up 200% on the previous year. Google’s grew by 60% and Facebook’s by 30%. Even Microsoft/Alphabet made $14 billion in profit during the same period as its cloud computing business boomed.
Now, as we head into 2023, things have completely changed. Profits have dived, the market has gone decidedly bearish on the sector and its ultra-wealthy founders have led a wipeout in fortunes that spanned the globe. Musk, Zuckerberg, Bezos plus the other members of the world’s richest billionaires club have lost $1.4 trillion in a year.
Big Tech doesn’t like situations it cannot control. Fond of appearing to have an answer to everything, they dislike being laughed at. However, in the legacy media the subject is now treated with outright Schadenfreude and mirth. One recent Economist headline about a former Twitter engineer read: “My boss was fired. So was his boss. And his boss’s boss. And their boss.”