Unscaled 6: Do Not Pass Go: New Monopolies in the Age of AI

The proliferation of AI is spurring calls for regulation. But what should these new rules look like? Who will enforce them? And does AI require a new definition of monopoly? Historically, monopolies were classified as companies with too much market share, and antitrust laws were designed to protect consumers from high prices and limited product choice. But with faster, cheaper options from the likes of Amazon, a new approach to consumer protection is needed.

Show notes

Hemant Taneja’s book Unscaled: How AI and a New Generation of Upstarts are Creating the Economy of the Future (referral fees will be donated to charity)

Hemant Taneja, managing director at General Catalyst

Ronda Scott, marketing partner at General Catalyst


Antitrust regulation (1:45)

What is a monopoly? (2:01)

Is Facebook a monopoly? (3:25)

Bill Gates quote: “A platform is when the economic value of everybody that uses it, exceeds the value of the company that creates it. Then it’s a platform.” (4:35)

Why monopolies were thought to be bad (5:20)

Importance of innovation in the age of new monopolies (6:20)

Flaws in applying the definition of monopolies in the physical world to ecommerce (7:55)

Geographic constraints no longer apply (8:35)

What should Facebook do to not be a monopoly? (9:35)

What should Amazon to to not be a monopoly and create more value than they’re constraining? (10:35)

When Bill Gates told Phil that Evernote wasn’t a platform (12:40)

Privacy protection (14:33)

The hindrances of GDPR on innovation (15:58)

The U.S. government’s lack of an AI department (17:45)

Balancing the security of the population with the risk of constraining innovation (18:10)

Role of regulation when job security is threatened (19:01)

Skill gap between what students are taught and what skills are needed (19:40)

AI is projected to create more jobs than it eliminates (20:35)

How should we draw lines between what is a company and what is a government? (20:51)

What’s the full value of a job? (26:13)


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