Bloomberg Businessweek

Silicon Valley’s New Reality Show

On Sept. 12, 2016, there was a momentary realignment in the constellation of global business. For the first time, the five largest public corporations in the world by market capitalization were all technology companies: Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon.com, and Facebook. The celestial anomaly lasted only seven weeks, because of the rise in oil prices and natural vicissitudes of the stock market, which eventually propelled ExxonMobil and Berkshire Hathaway past Facebook and Amazon. But it’s easy to conclude that a portal had opened briefly to the future—a future in which Silicon Valley dominates everything.

Like so much of 2016, the moment surprised a lot of onlookers. But while it was a bad year for prognosticators, it was by and large a very good year for high tech. If you put aside exploding Samsung smartphones, the massive

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