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Why Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon want to be each other

Mike Elgan | March 31, 2014
Suddenly, major tech companies are flipping out, remaking themselves to be more like their competitors

We don't know the specifics, but it appears that Amazon on Wednesday may announce some kind of streaming TV, movie and music-video offering that probably involves a set-top box and console-style gaming.

Why would an online bookstore need to sell a home-entertainment system?

Wrong question!

To a certain extent, all this is happening because technology companies know that technology companies fall after they rise. They fall because they fail to lead the Next Big Thing, they allow themselves to become obsolete, or they allow their competitors to get too big and powerful to fail.

That knowledge leads companies to want what their competitors want. Twitter wants Facebook's huge follower base. Facebook wants Google's moonshot street cred. Google wants Amazon's market share. And Amazon wants Apple's ubiquity.

Which is fine. But companies need to be careful and make sure that, in trying to thrill people who aren't their customers yet, they don't forget to serve the customers they already have.


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