This is the Information Age, therefore it’s only natural that technology companies are doing incredibly well! And this ranking is dominated by GAFAM firms, which rank among the world’s top five publicly traded companies in terms of market capitalization. Are you curious as to what GAFAM is?
Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft are the major players. All of these firms earned a total $801.5 billion in revenue in 2019, which is a lot of zeroes! Even more intriguing is the fact that they are all headquartered in the United States of America. Therefore, let us have a look at these GAFAM enterprises and track their paths to corporate success!
If you’re currently reading this post, odds are you found it from Google Search. Google is the most well-known corporation name in the technology sector, and even non-technical individuals are familiar with it. And why would you not? Google is ubiquitous! Apart from Google Search, you probably use Gmail, Google Docs, Google Maps when you’re lost, and YouTube to watch entertaining movies. And this is only a sampling of Google’s services. There are plenty others! However, let us begin at the beginning.
Google was founded in September 1998 in California by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. In March 1999, the company relocated to Palo Alto, California, a neighbourhood that is also home to a slew of other Silicon Valley startups. On August 19, 2004, Google issued an initial public offering of 19, 605, 052 shares at a price of $85 per share. Those who purchased those shares were undoubtedly fortunate in the future!!! Google’s next major acquisitions were YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006 and DeepMind Technologies for $400 million in 2014. While YouTube is presently the world’s largest video sharing platform, DeepMind has increased Google’s Artificial Intelligence research. As a result, these investments benefited Google significantly. Then, in 2015, Google expanded its scope with the formation of Alphabet. This is Google’s parent firm, and it was formed so that Alphabet could manage a variety of businesses in a variety of industries while Google could focus only on the internet. As a result, Sundar Pichai was appointed CEO of Google, while Larry Page was appointed CEO of Alphabet. However, this has not diminished Google’s status as one of Silicon Valley’s “Big Five” IT giants!
2. The Apple
Few individuals in this world have never heard of an iPhone. This phone has become a status symbol in a number of countries, owing to the high quality of Apple products. Apple is renowned for its excellent technology and exquisite design, which extends beyond the iPhone to the iPad, Mac personal computer, Apple Watch wristwatch, and AirPods. As you can see, Apple is the best at everything it does! Apple is also an all-rounder, developing not only hardware but also software. The operating systems macOS and iOS, which run on Mac computers and iPhones, respectively, are also immensely popular due to their functionality and design. Additionally, Apple offers online services such as the iTunes Store, Apple Music, Apple TV+, the iOS App Store, and iCloud.
And everyone is familiar with Steve Jobs! He co-founded Apple in April 1976 with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. However, Apple Computer, Inc. was incorporated in January 1977 and went public in 1980, offering 4.6 million shares at a price of $22 a share. Did you know that this approach resulted in the creation of almost 300 new millionaires! However, things took a turn for the worst in 1985, when Steve Wozniak resigned amicably from Apple and Steve Jobs departed to found NeXT. This ushered in Apple’s dark era, during which it lost market share to Microsoft Windows on Intel-based PCs. All of this was rectified in 1997, when Apple acquired NeXT and reintroduced Steve Jobs. He was appointed CEO in 2000 and transformed Apple into the company it is today! Jobs launched the ad “Think differently.” Apple also spawned a slew of other businesses, such as SoundJam MP, which was rebranded as “iTunes” and debuted in 2000. However, Steve Jobs’ death in 2011 signalled the end of an era for Apple, with Tim Cook taking over as CEO. However, Apple’s influence and prestige increased significantly in January 2016, when it declared that one billion Apple products were in active use worldwide. Apple has maintained its iPhone monopoly, lately introducing the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max on September 10, 2019. Apple boasts the world’s most devoted fan base! People have flocked to Apple Store openings and product launches in droves, and have even stood in line for days. A man even proposed at the New York City inauguration of the Apple Cube shop!!!
What is the greatest method for maintaining contact with friends? What is the best way to keep track on what your social circle is up to, even if they are halfway around the world? Of course, it’s Facebook! Facebook is the world’s first and most popular social media platform. It has single-handedly reduced the size of the planet and facilitated the birth of numerous new social networking services such as Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. However, Facebook is much more than its social networking platform. Additionally, Facebook offers additional services such as Facebook Messenger and Facebook Watch. And if you prefer using Instagram or WhatsApp to share photos or messages, Facebook has purchased these companies as well!
On February 4, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg and four of his Harvard College classmates created Facebook. Although Facebook was first limited to Harvard students, membership quickly expanded to other Ivy League colleges and universities in the United States, and eventually to the entire world! By July 2010, Facebook had surpassed 500 million users. Additionally, Facebook increased its business in 2012, when it acquired Instagram for around US$1 billion. And if you think that’s a high price, consider that Facebook also acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for a whopping US$19 billion!!! As a result, Facebook owns the majority of the popular social media networks you use today. Additionally, Facebook announced a $5.7 billion deal with Reliance Industries in April 2020 to acquire 10% of Jio Platforms. As a result, Facebook now has stakes in Indian industries. Facebook’s customer base grew steadily in 2017, surpassing 2 billion members, before declining in 2018. However, this fall coincides with the growth of Instagram’s popularity, indicating that regardless of what occurs, Facebook Inc. is here to stay!
4. The Amazon
You’re at home, but you’d like to get some new clothing? What are your responsibilities? You may easily purchase them online and have them delivered to your home through Amazon! And not just in terms of clothing. You name anything, and Amazon has it! Books, electronics, beauty products, kitchen essentials, and toys – you name it, and Amazon has it! Amazon is the world’s largest e-commerce corporation, which qualifies it for inclusion in the “Big Four” group. However, amazon is not solely concerned with e-commerce. Additionally, they have created a presence in cloud computing and artificial intelligence through Amazon Web Services, as well as in the online content provider sector with Amazon Prime.
Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in July 1994. It was initially intended to be an online bookstore, but has evolved into much more! In the first two months, Amazon sold books in all 50 states of America and over 45 countries. They eventually expanded into the sale of music and video in 1998, followed by consumer electronics, software, video games, household products, toys, and games in 1999. Amazon expanded at a breakneck pace, growing from $15.7 million in 1996 to $610 million in 1998. This two-year turnaround results in Jeff Bezos being named Time magazine’s 1999 Person of the Year. However, Amazon’s success did not end with e-commerce! Bezos has always maintained that Amazon is a technological firm, not a retailer, a contention that was validated in 2002 with the debut of Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS initially provided data on website popularity, internet traffic patterns, and other online statistics for marketers, but has since evolved into a market-leading on-demand cloud computing platform for businesses and governments. Amazon also expanded their cloud computing offering in 2006 by launching Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Simple Storage Service (S3). Amazon is currently participating in a variety of ventures outside of online shopping, but their primary source of revenue remains online goods sales. However, Amazon Web Services is the most profitable of all Amazon enterprises, and it is the focus of the majority of innovation and investment at the moment.
The likelihood is that you use Microsoft Windows as your operating system (unless, of course, you buy an Apple laptop!). And what about the space needs for your office? Microsoft Office is your best buddy when it comes to creating documents, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations! And who can forget the convenience of conducting meetings through Skype? Or are you interested in establishing a professional network via LinkedIn? As these companies are also controlled by Microsoft, it can be claimed that Microsoft handles practically all of your professional requirements!
Microsoft was founded on April 4, 1975, by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, with Bill Gates serving as CEO. Did you know that Microsoft is an acronym for microcomputer software, which was their initial focus? Microsoft released Microsoft Windows in 1985 as a graphical expansion to MS-DOS, while the Microsoft Office suite was launched in 1990 with the release of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. Microsoft continued to upgrade Windows on a regular basis and subsequently entered the cloud computing business with the Azure Services Platform in 2008. In 2011, Microsoft purchased Skype Technologies to bolster its telecoms business. Microsoft decided in July 2013 to reorganise the firm into four new business divisions in response to growing business interests. These divisions were named Operating System, Cloud, Apps, and Devices, and they absorbed all former divisions and staff. As a result, Microsoft acquired Nokia’s mobile unit for $7 billion the following year, a move that was hailed as a brave move at the time. Additional significant acquisitions were made by Microsoft following Satya Nadella’s appointment as CEO on February 4, 2014. These include the absurd sum of $26.2 billion paid for LinkedIn in 2016 and then $7.5 billion paid for GitHub in 2018. While Microsoft has had its share of achievements and disappointments to date, it appears to be increasing in popularity and revenue in recent years!