In France, business-related publishers refer to Google-Apple-Facebook-Amazon as a single group. And because the french love acronyms, they called it ‘GAFA‘s.
Beyond the sheer horror of the acronym, I don’t think it’s fair to associate these companies together.
- Apple makes money off products
- Facebook makes money off ads (i.e. off the user)
- Amazon harvests a lot of data but offers products/services (B2C/B2B)
- Google (similarly to both FB and Amazon) has B2B/B2C components in addition to the ads.
Out of all of these, Apple is the only one I can think of with Privacy at heart. This was recently reiterated last week when Tim Cook was interviewed by Kara Swisher on MSNBC/Recode:
The truth is we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer. If our customer was our product, we could make a ton of money. We’ve elected not to do that. Because we don’t … our products are iPhones and iPads and Macs and HomePods and the Watch, etc., and if we can convince you to buy one, we’ll make a little bit of money, right? But you are not our product.
I really don’t like this acronym. These companies couldn’t be more different.