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Ep. 593: Scott Galloway Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Scott Galloway
Scott Galloway

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Scott Galloway is a professor at New York University Stern School of Business teaching brand strategy and digital marketing. He has started nine firms and his weekly YouTube series has generated millions of views. Scott is also author of “The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.”

Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are arguably the most influential entities in the world. These companies have deconstructed who humans are as a species and reassembled who humans are, in the form of for-profit companies. They have scaled up so fast and become so successful by understanding humans most common questions and producing answers instantly. Scott breaks down the specific reasons each of these companies have individually thrived: Google = God, Facebook = Love, Amazon = Consumption, and Apple = Sex.

Mediocre and cheap products have been pushed in years past. However, people have new tools allowing them to practice due diligence and find what product is best for them personally. A better product is the best and only way to brand in today’s marketplace. With customer reviews built into Google and Amazon, they have changed the entire course of how people buy.

These four companies have done a lot of good, but have they become so big that they have become bad for society? In some ways, they are leveraging their power to unhealthy heights. Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google yield more money and more power than some foreign governments. This has allowed them certain privileges such as tax avoidance and immunity to government oversight. What is another negative? Amazon has literally sucked the oxygen out of other top companies such as Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Sears. Facebook and Google have taken over the digital marketing world. If you are not working with Facebook or Google, then you are marketing with newspapers or magazine — rapidly declining markets. Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are not only in zero sum markets, they are creating zero competitors.

What are some great leadership qualities from these top companies? Jeff Bezos, for example, has always kept a long term outlook on consumption rather than short-term. He also has combined fast and free service. Tim Cook has tripled the value of Apple. Apple is the first company in history to have great quality and spend extremely low on production. Facebook has shown tremendous agility in their management. Michael and Scott finish the conversation talking government, and how these companies yield their power in the political arena.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook
  • Eco system of Silicon Valley
  • Zero sum nature of Amazon
  • Jeff Bezos
  • Tim Cook
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Political views of Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook
  • Strong leadership qualities
  • Monopolies

Mentions & Resources:

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Ep. 580: Monkey Gone to Heaven with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Monkey Gone to Heaven with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio
Monkey Gone to Heaven with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

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If you’re a regular listener to Trend Following Radio, chances are you’re not a fan of PC culture. Michael dives into the recent controversy over the Google employee that was fired over his 10 page manifesto on gender and race regulations.

Michael moves on and reads a quote from “The Wisdom of Insecurity” by Alan Watts–written 60 years ago and relevant more than ever today. What is the PC culture of modern day? It is the insecurities of people coming out. Michael makes the comparison between zombies and PC culture. We are literally living George Orwell’s 1984.

Michael finishes by pulling in a baseball analogy using Yankee heavy hitter, Aaron Judge. Teams have adjusted and are not throwing Judge the same pitches they were throwing in the first half of the season. He now has to take what is given, and adjust his strategy. He can’t choose what pitch the pitcher is going to throw him, he just has to take what he is given and roll with it. Same mentality goes with the stock market. When the stock market is at all time highs, people let anything go. You can’t choose where the market is going to take you, you just have to go with it and be prepared to adjust accordingly.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • PC culture
  • Bitcoin
  • Aaron Judge
  • Influence of Google
  • The Wisdom of Insecurity
  • Statistics in all parts of life

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Ep. 106: Personal Responsibility with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Personal Responsibility with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio
Personal Responsibility with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Michael Covel opens up today’s podcast by playing an interview with freelance journalist and author Helaine Olen from “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”. Olen is there to promote her book, “Pound Foolish: Exposing The Dark Side Of The Personal Finance Industry”. Olen notes that how when those in the “financial entertainment” business such as Suze Orman and Jim Cramer gives stock picks, the stock goes up. However, it almost always falls back down several weeks later. To that end, Olen recommends immediately shorting anything Jim Cramer mentions as a buy. However, towards the end, the interview takes a different tone as Stewart mentions that he doesn’t understand “why we don’t value work more and why investment has become so valued”. Covel kicks into gear and comments on the interview, first noting that he’s a fan of Stewart, but also pointing out the problematic attitude Stewart takes. There was something distinctly missing from Stewart’s interview with Olen: personal responsibility and how the world really works. The search for security, especially in your investments, is fool’s gold. But why did Covel play this clip? It’s a lead into today’s topic: how the world really works. Covel talks about Google clinging onto it’s cash waiting for the right opportunity. Google is waiting for the good bet. Their hand is not being forced and they don’t care what you think about them. So, Google can wait, but can you? They know the right move will come, and they know they have to have the capital when it does. So in a sense, Google is acting like a trend following trader. That’s trend following 101. You have to wait for the home run. So what causes us not to wait? What screws us up? Covel plays a clip from Keith Chen to illustrate why in which he about how language can have an effect on your ability to save money. Covel comments on the clip, noting how being a trend following trader involves reacting to right now. You’re not dealing with tomorrow. All you’re dealing with is the here and now. Looking at the machinations of American investors through Chen’s speech, Covel notes how we all want to deal with the non-existent future, but if you want to step outside of that bubble, it’s up to you. It’s your personal responsibility.

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Eric Schmidt of Google Can’t Predict the Stock Market

From Eric Schmidt Google’s CEO:

“There are many, many things that Google could do, that we chose not to do.”

He added:

“One day we had a conversation where we figured we could just try to predict the stock market. And then we decided it was illegal. So we stopped doing that.”

Google is a great search engine. It won the title of search king and Schmidt has made a fortune. Congratulations. However, when he says stuff like this it makes everyone with a pulse think he was just a lucky idiot.

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