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  • Maurice Stucke

Porchlight's Long List of Top Business Books

Many thanks to Porchlight for including our book, and the thoughtful review: How Big-Tech Barons Smash Innovation—and How to Strike Back by Ariel Ezrachi and Maurice E.Stucke, Harper Business Now that you’ve been inspired by four generally uplifting innovators, you will be strong enough to confront the forces threatening innovation, entrepreneurship, and our wellbeing online. Since the early 2000s, Ariel Ezrachi’s and Maurice E. Stucke’s scholarly research on the digital economy, competition and antitrust law, and economic inequality have made waves in the policy debate space. They bring this expertise to a general audience in How Big-Tech Barons Smash Innovation—and How to Strike Back. While Matt Richtel in Inspired provides a generally positive perspective on the community-building credentials of the internet, Ezrachi and Stucke expose how Big Tech’s influence on our user experience is censoring competitive innovators. The “Tech Barons” they analyze—Google, Apple, Meta, Amazon, and Microsoft—accounted for 25% of the S&P 500’s market capitalization in 2021, monopolizing the tech market and gaining control over the innovation ecosystem that is the internet. And it’s impossible to compete with these companies because: Competing means more than being online. It means having a compelling presence, scale, customer base, and innovative products. It means companies re-engineering themselves into AI-centric firms, where the underlying data pipeline helps train and improve the algorithms, which drive many of the companies’ critical functions–everything from setting prices to personalizing services to predicting behavior. The simple act of being on social media as a business feels like a daily fight for attention. And more and more it feels like a losing game where the only way to get ahead is to give more time and money to the Big Tech overlords. I’m so appreciative of Ezrachi and Stucke’s work in antitrust law and for sharing their insight so approachably at such a pivotal time, when so many of us feel burnt out from living online during the pandemic. The digital world has been changing so rapidly, but their proposals for the way forward are promising. Their book is a wide-angle look at where we are, and who and what we—as small businesses and everyday internet users—are up against. And if more people read How Big-Tech Barons Smash Innovation—and How to Strike Back I think it will enable more fertile ground for truly helpful and humane innovation, online and off.


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