Historically, there have been kings who control everything. If the king was generous, then you will be rewarded. But what if the king turns bad.
Giving someone too much power is a surefire way to ruin everything eventually.
Monopolies are no different.
Whenever you read about monopolies, the owner tried to keep its power by any means possible. It meant controlling distribution, stopping new entrants, buying them out forcibly and many bad methods.
First, the competitors got swiped out. And in the end, consumers were left with no choice but to surrender.
The future needs to better. But with a rise in the internet, it seems the race to become monopoly is compounded. With big companies just implementing the feature of new-and-upcoming apps. And giving them for free. So, in the end, you are glued to their service only. Of course, once everything gets wiped out – you will be the exploitation end. You have the power, choice and steering wheel to make things happen a certain way.
How Monopolies Form
If a single company controls everything you want, then they can exploit you. Then the question isn’t if they will exploit, the question is when.
There are various methods by which a company can become a monopoly. One method is to bleed money. So your competition dies out. Amazon does this the best. They offer dirt cheap prices for goods. They lose money on every transaction.
And they can afford to keep doing this for a long time. While the other companies die out.
Also, since Amazon is bleeding and doesn’t mind – they offer other competitors to sell. If they deny, they crush them. Because they lower their prices. Competitors can’t afford losses – so either they die out or sell out.
When you keep doing this, only a few rich people or companies remain at the top. Providing you products or services.
After a point, they can start exploiting you. And you now have no choice.
The Rise Of Startup
New companies keep coming. But the big monopolies don’t fear them. As they aren’t taking a large cut of the money pie.
Let’s take an example of Snapchat, Musically and WhatsApp. All three started to solve a problem which was existing. And none of the big monopolies catered. Snapchat provided disappearing chats, Musically allowed you to lip-sync videos. And WhatsApp allowed you to chat with your friends for free.
The big monopolies saw this. But they let it be. And all 3 got big because of the network effect. For you to use any of these apps – you need to share.
Facebook and Google – the two biggest monopolies saw this. And they tried buying WhatsApp. Facebook eventually bought the WhatsApp.
In the meantime, Facebook also bought Instagram – the photo-sharing app.
Facebook introduced disappearing chat feature on WhatsApp and Instagram. So since many people already use these 2 apps – they realized they don’t need Snapchat.
TikTok bought Musically. And Google and Facebook started – ‘short videos’ and ‘Reels’ a replica of TikTok on their own platform.
With every feature of the competitor, willingness to bleed and buying competitors – the already existing monopolies are getting bigger.
And you may not realize it – but they can now do whatever they please. And you would have no choice. Because they own everything.
Although there is a regulation to keep an eye on them. And there are laws made to help the consumers – the money is a big motivator. There is a reason many monopolies stay for decades and beyond.
This isn’t a future I am looking forward to. It’s scary.
You are left with no choice. Once you end up with 2 or 3 big monopolies. Instead, the future should be studios with a few hundred people working on specific projects.
There will still be some monopolies. But in many respects, there will be new entrants. And everyone is big enough to serve and not exploit.
This change has to come with entrepreneurs and customers. Owners need to realize they don’t have to keep scaling. Keeping alive their close-knit community if worth enough. Also, customers need to appreciate studios popping up.
This will give rise to more fair competition. And better choices for everyone.
For And Against
At one end, you find that monopolies makes it possible to have huge quantities of things. And often streamlines thing. And this happens when the top person wants that.
With monopoly, there is always gambling of sorts. Because chances are 1 in 100 might be doing good. Rest will suck your blood.
So, some institutions should be done by government like healthcare. So everyone gets affordable or free healthcare. And since, it is government they have a check in place by people like you who vote.
For the rest of things, small studios working cross-connecting is the future.