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Opinion
20 December, 2019

What are "FAANG" and "Big N" companies all about?

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Sometimes, we feel missed out on interesting technology trends. Hoping from Reddit to twitter down to Quora to figure out what these trends are and why the buzz. One of these trends is the "Big N" companies. If you are feeling missed out already, "Big N" companies are what we already know. It's just that the internet knows how to "educate" us on what we already know differently — on their terms.

These "Big N" companies are the most notable technology companies you can think of. At this point, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, etc. might have crossed your mind. You are right, they are the "Big N" companies. There are at least 500 of them, also called the 500 fortune companies.

Almost everyone talks about them. "Big N" companies are mostly public trading companies, a handful of them are in talks to go public. They offer the highest paying jobs no wonder career-focused talents have at a point dream of landing jobs with any of them for obvious reasons. Employees at the so-called "Big N" companies seem to have the best work-life balance and the best employee benefits in the industry, unlike freelance talents. So, for them, joining a startup almost invariably means taking a pay cut. When they leave one "Big N" company, they move to another tech giant that offers the same or similar compensation.

Most employees that left "FAANG" and "Big N" companies to join a startup or start one, do it for personal reasons.  Reasons like wanting to work in a workplace where they can have a better impact, a chance to influence new cutting edge technologies, or to be an early employee with some equity stake in the startup and hopes it will become the next tech giant.
 
"Big N" companies and FAANG are not the same, but there is a mix here. Out of the 500 fortune companies, FAANG stood out the most. This is because of their stocks. They have the most well-known and best-performing tech stocks, and they are just five in numbers; FB, AMZN, AAPL, Netflix, and GOOG owned by Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Alphabet respectively.
 
It is believed that investors grouped these companies into one acronym to capture the collective impact they have on the market. As of March 2019, the market capitalization of these companies was equal to $3.1 trillion. FAANGs' root boils down to FANG — the original acronym when CNBC's Jim Cramer came up with the term in February 2013. This was before the A acronym for Apple came on board. "Put money to work in the companies that represent the future," Cramer told the audience. "Put money to work in companies that are dominant in their market, and put money to work in stocks that have serious momentum." Cramer's call FANG "minted profits" for investors. Morningstar, one of the top research firms calculated that the original four companies, excluding Apple, in the acronym had earned 691% in profits for investors between June 2013 to August 2018.
 
While they rank up in trillions of dollars, one might assume they had it all figured out. None of them do.
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