Sep 17, 2017

Naming big tech

BRICS summit, 2014 (Silvia Izquierdo / AP)

Back in 2001, Goldman Sachs's Jim O'Neill foresaw a new economic future — a somewhat surprising new set of countries becoming the mightiest economic forces on the planet. He called them the "BRIC" nations, and the monniker took hold: Brazil, Russia, India, China became a runaway hit investment strategy, and the countries themselves embraced their anointed new global role (photo above), adding South Africa to become BRICS.

Today, apart from China, the romance of BRICS is largely in shambles, the victim of economic reality. But a new grouping of giants has captured much imagination — Big Tech. By that, it's usually meant Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook and often Microsoft. But people are having trouble inventing an acronym for them with the ring of BRICS.

  • In Europe, especially France, newspapers have for years used GAFA.
  • Some people speak of FANG and FAANG (adding Netflix), but it misses the point, referring not exclusively to big tech.
  • Wishing to hold on to its franchise, Goldman itself has suggested FAAMG. So has UBS. But if you are going that direction, why not FAMAG? And is either superior to GAMAF?

Alas, none of these rolls off the tongue. Any ideas?

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Apple CEO Tim Cook

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