Who Will Win This Decade’s ‘Tech War’?

By Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, REALTOR® Magazine

In an article just published on Fast Company magazine’s Web site, technology writer Farhad Manjoo explores what might be the most important issue in business during this decade: Which company will emerge on top in the “technology war” that’s taking shape right now?

The piece, titled “The Great Tech War of 2012,” ostensibly examines what will unfold by the end of next year in this struggle for market supremacy. But as Manjoo writes:

“Over the next two years, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google will increasingly collide in the markets for mobile phones and tablets, mobile apps, social networking, and more. This competition will be intense.”

Something tells me it’s going to take more than a couple of years to settle this.

It’s worth noting that of these four companies, only Apple has existed for more than two decades. And it languished from the mid-1980s until the late 1990s — roughly the period of time between Steve Jobs’ (may he rest in peace) stints heading the company. Amazon and Google were just getting going around the time Jobs was righting the ship in Cupertino, and Facebook wasn’t established until the middle of the last decade.

But since 2000, those companies have collectively changed how we get information, consume content, and connect with each other, and in ways that hardly could have been conceived in the mid-1990s. Indeed, the tech titans of that time — Microsoft, HP, and Dell — come off in Manjoo’s article as derivative dinosaurs struggling desperately to keep up.

New companies may come along (and sooner than we think) to displace these four, but the products and services they release over the next few years to meet consumer demand for technology that’s more portable, social, and content-rich will be, I believe, the biggest driver of business in this decade. And I agree with Manjoo that the “winner” of this competition will be the one that best combines “competitive excellence, strategic genius, and superb execution.”

Which company do you think will triumph this “tech war”? Vote in our poll below and explain why you think one of these businesses will come out on top in the comments section.


Brian Summerfield

Brian Summerfield is Manager of Business Development and Outreach for NAR Commercial and Global Services. He can be reached at bsummerfield@realtors.org.

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  1. In the near term facebook has a wide edge and lead. In the long term google has the resources. Should be interesting to see how the race narrows over the long term