Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity is the fourth book from resident NYU Stern Professor Scott Galloway. I took Professor Galloway’s Brand Strategy class this past semester, and although at times it more closely resembled a game show than a graduate school course, I couldn’t help but come away feeling that it was a capstone experience of my time at Stern. He creates a similar aura of excitement and wonder in his latest book.
Professor Galloway, Stern’s B-school Joel McHale, finds success in making high level business concepts accessible and relatable to a wider audience. His followers want to be “in on the joke” and he offers them an open door and a path to sound smart and relevant. A lot of the content of Post Corona is not new. Approximately one-fifth of the book covers analysis and frameworks presented in his first 2017 publication, The Four, which discusses the dangerous exploitation and influence of tech giants Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook. Yes, he presents new data and evidence to support his views, but the opinion and recommendations remain the same. This is not a criticism of the book. Much the opposite.
The most popular content on the Prof G YouTube channel is Galloway’s yearly predictions. These consist of him making lukewarm to hottish takes on the state of companies and markets through explicit predictions like “Jack Dorsey will be outed as Twitter CEO by the end of the year” (2021 prediction) or “Airbnb will hit $200/share” (2021 prediction), or “Tesla will go bankrupt” (2019 prediction).
He’s often wrong, but when he’s right, he’s widely applauded by social media and beyond. Galloway’s books often dive deeper into the reasons behind these predictions and provide a platform for him to illustrate the logic and research that support his positions. Post Corona often feels like a postscript “I told you so” to The Four. He provides returning readers with the sense that we saw this coming, and brings new followers in through clever and charming presentations of “new” ideas like the T-Algorithm, Big Tech’s disruption of Healthcare and Higher Ed, and the need for modernized Antitrust Legislation. If those sound familiar, trust your instincts.
Galloway has developed a recognizable voice that spans the media: YouTube, Twitter, podcasts, blogs, and books. My classmates from Brand Strategy joked that we can no longer read a tweet or email of his without hearing it in his voice. This Morgan Freeman-like skill is hard to establish, and Post Corona is a perfect example of this instrument in use.
Although he may sometimes dip into cringey territory, overall his language is inclusive, and he preaches the need for diverse perspectives and personal sacrifice. No one person will provide the solution. Galloway reminds us that in times of crisis we must remember our fundamentals and our analytic frameworks. The more people that can do this the better – and if they also happen to become his Twitter and YouTube followers, so be it. This book is an effort to create a flywheel effect of followers that acknowledge and support his ideas and aspirations. The ideas are not new, but the presentation and context is. Post Corona illustrates the stickiness and near-universal applicability of the core “Galloway Concepts.” At his best, he is equal parts David Aaker and Amanda Gorman as he closes his book: “America isn’t ‘what it is,’ but what we make of it.”
I look forward to Galloway’s next installment of marketing fundamentals for the pompous masses.