"Life After Google" by George Gilder

Discover the transformative power of blockchain in George Gilder's "Life After Google," and its implications for procurement, supply chain, and marketing professionals.


The Procure 4 Marketing Team

7/18/20244 min read

a cube with many different types of technology symbols
a cube with many different types of technology symbols

George Gilder’s "Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy" presents a provocative and visionary critique of the current technological paradigm dominated by Google and similar big data giants. As professionals in procurement, supply chain, and marketing, it is imperative to understand the transformative insights offered by Gilder, which could significantly impact our fields. This review delves into the key themes, critical analysis, and the potential implications of Gilder’s ideas for our professional domains.


"Life After Google" explores the limitations and inherent flaws of the big data model epitomized by Google. Gilder argues that the current internet structure, which relies heavily on centralized data repositories, is not only unsustainable but also poses significant risks in terms of security, privacy, and innovation stagnation. He advocates for a new era driven by blockchain technology, which promises a decentralized, secure, and more efficient internet economy.

Key Themes

1. Critique of the Current Model: Gilder criticizes the "free" model of services offered by Google, which monetize user data. He highlights the paradox of free services, where users pay with their privacy and become the product. This model, he argues, leads to a concentration of power and control, stifling innovation and creating vulnerabilities.

2. The Rise of Blockchain: The book’s central thesis is the potential of blockchain technology to revolutionize the internet and economy. Gilder sees blockchain as the antidote to the centralization problem, offering a decentralized and secure method of handling transactions and data. This shift, according to Gilder, will usher in a new era of innovation and economic development.

3. Security and Trust: Gilder emphasizes the security advantages of blockchain, which can mitigate the risks associated with centralized data storage. He discusses the concept of "cryptographic truth" where trust is built into the system through mathematical algorithms rather than relying on third-party intermediaries.

4. Economic and Technological Shifts: The book predicts a significant shift in economic power and technological development from data giants to blockchain innovators. Gilder envisions a future where new business models will emerge, characterized by greater transparency, efficiency, and equitable distribution of wealth and opportunities.

Critical Analysis

While Gilder’s vision is compelling, it is not without its challenges and criticisms. His argument that the current model is fundamentally flawed is persuasive, especially considering recent data breaches and privacy concerns. However, the transition to a blockchain-based economy is not as straightforward as Gilder suggests.

1. Adoption and Scalability: The adoption of blockchain technology on a global scale faces numerous hurdles, including technical scalability, regulatory acceptance, and the need for a massive overhaul of existing infrastructure. While blockchain offers theoretical solutions, practical implementation remains a significant challenge.

2. Interoperability: For blockchain to truly replace current systems, there needs to be interoperability between different blockchain networks and legacy systems. This transition phase could be lengthy and complex, requiring collaboration across various sectors and industries.

3. Regulatory and Legal Frameworks: The legal implications of a blockchain-dominated economy are profound. Existing regulatory frameworks are not equipped to handle the decentralized and pseudonymous nature of blockchain transactions. Policymakers will need to develop new laws and regulations that balance innovation with security and compliance.

4. Cultural and Organizational Resistance: Organizations are often resistant to change, especially when it involves adopting new technologies that disrupt existing business models. The cultural shift required to embrace blockchain is significant and will require education, training, and a change in mindset among professionals and decision-makers.

Implications for Procurement, Supply Chain, and Marketing

Gilder’s vision, if realized, could have far-reaching implications for procurement, supply chain, and marketing professionals.

1. Procurement: Blockchain could transform procurement processes by enhancing transparency and traceability. Smart contracts could automate procurement tasks, reducing the need for intermediaries and minimizing the risk of fraud. This would streamline operations and lead to cost savings.

2. Supply Chain: The supply chain sector stands to benefit immensely from blockchain technology. Enhanced traceability can improve the accuracy of tracking goods, ensuring authenticity and reducing counterfeiting. Additionally, the secure and immutable nature of blockchain can improve compliance and auditability, leading to greater efficiency and trust among supply chain partners.

3. Marketing: For marketing professionals, the decentralized internet proposed by Gilder offers a new way of engaging with consumers. With increased privacy protections, marketers will need to develop more ethical and transparent strategies for data collection and customer engagement. Blockchain could also enable more personalized and secure interactions with consumers, enhancing trust and loyalty.


"Life After Google" presents a bold vision of a future driven by blockchain technology, challenging the dominance of big data giants like Google. For professionals in procurement, supply chain, and marketing, understanding Gilder’s insights is crucial as they navigate the potential disruptions and opportunities presented by this technological shift.

While the transition to a blockchain-based economy will undoubtedly face challenges, the potential benefits in terms of security, efficiency, and innovation are significant. Gilder’s book serves as both a critique of the current model and a roadmap for a decentralized future, offering valuable perspectives for those willing to embrace change and drive forward the next wave of technological advancement.

In conclusion, "Life After Google" is a must-read for professionals seeking to stay ahead of the curve in an ever-evolving digital landscape. By critically engaging with Gilder’s arguments, procurement, supply chain, and marketing professionals can better prepare for the transformative changes that lie ahead, leveraging blockchain technology to enhance their operations and strategic initiatives.