The Death of Underdogs

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Are we still excited about “startups?” Or has the glorification of technology culture ruined the under-dog story? 

Who is excited about Amazon moving into healthcare? “Amazon’s roughly $1 billion acquisition of online pharmacy PillPack marks the retail giant’s latest effort to push into the crowded health-care space and follows its alliance with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway to lower the cost of covering employees.”

Sure the technology will be interesting and it is likely good for the world…but is anyone really excited or even nervous for the “battle between Amazon (the nearly $1 trillion company) taking on old-fashioned incumbents?” 

Is anyone excited about Facebook making another big acquisition? Or Instagram launching another bundled feature? 

Perhaps big companies have always “dominated by the markets.” Perhaps they have always been the talk of the town – the hot ticket items. Most everyone “would kill” for a job at FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google). 

My question is…will they be around in five years? Ten Years? 25 Years? 

More importantly, is that a good thing? 

Where have the optimistic days gone? (Or were they ever here in the first place?). 

Are we in the era of “you should not try that idea, it has already been tried before?” Or the “you will fail because an incumbent is just going to crush you?” 

Who is excited about that? 

I, for one, am extremely (though pragmatically) optimistic about the future of technology. I would bet that the internet and adjacent technologies create more value (however you define that) in the next twenty years than they have in all of previous history combined.

Perhaps I am naive. Perhaps this is the last page

Maybe the chance is small – much smaller than our risk tolerances would like. But why not take the bold leap? Why not root for more attempts? More darts thrown? 

What, to you, is exciting about the future?

I figure we must be excited…eager…naive at times…optimistic about our lives. We must bet on our generation. If not, what is the point of any of this?

Also published on Medium.