google (alphabet) doesn’t have a market cap of 809.448b because they sell ads.

amazon doesn’t have a market cap of 946.73b because they sell products.

apple doesn’t have a market cap of 1.054t because they sell phones.

these giants have massive war chests and are shaping the future because they’ve mastered supply chains and logistics—powered in large part by data.

google has invested thousands of person-hours to figuring out how to promote and grow the best managers. they receive over 3,000 applications for every job posting. for an organization squarely at the forefront of the knowledge economy, their most critical supply chain challenges are recruiting, training, and retaining the best people. in the war for talent, google is napoleon.

amazon realized their competitive advantage over other retailers in either cyberspace or brick and mortar was in the delivery. having an almost limitless catalog of products is less important than delivering in either two-days or even same-day when you consider the buying habits of individuals. to lower costs even more, and to control that delivery better than they ever could partnering with other freight carriers, they launched their own fleet of airplanes, trucks, and gig-economy couriers to move packages from their warehouses to your door.

apple has sold 2 billion ios devices and they’ll sell hundreds of thousands more as the new line of iphone models launches this week. what gets lost in the numbers and the hype is how much more mature apple is—as an organization—from their launch days ten years ago. phones would be out of stock in a day, and even sometimes hours. if you didn’t camp outside for the new launch (and even if you did) you’d find yourself on a weeks-long waiting list. they simply couldn’t keep up with the demand. apple will surely have shortages at times, and finding the exact phone you want may be difficult still during launch, but one of the reasons they are able to make the sales and margin goals they do is because of an optimized supply chain.

whether it’s for talent, delivery, or production (physical or digital—do you know what your software development supply chain looks like?), the winners and losers of the future will be the ones who can master logistics and those who can’t.