In 1977, the Eagles released \u201cHotel California,\u201d a song about drugs and the effects an addiction has on people. Putting \u201cWe are all just prisoners here, of our own device\u201d in the context of our today\u2019s digital lifestyle we find a lot of truth. There is a reason why Google provides most of its services for free or why Amazon wants us to have an Echo in every home or why Facebook has become our directory of \u201cfriends.\u201d What looks pretty convenient is a threat. It is a threat to the end consumers but also a threat to the established economy. And even if we have the choice to check out any time \u2013 we will never leave.\nFeast of the Beasts\nAfter already two decades, the Internet giants \u2013 speaking of Amazon, Google, Facebook, Alibaba and Baidu \u2013 are still collecting tons of data, filling their databases with information of everyone\u2019s knowledge, opinions, recommendations, locations, movements, buying behavior, relation status, lifestyle etc. This is not a secret and nothing new. And there is no end in sight. On the contrary, almost every month, new services or devices are released to provide a better user experience, make our life more convenient and increase our dose of digital addiction.\nAmazon, Google, Facebook and co. have become ubiquitous in our life. And thanks to the Internet of Things, the gap between our analog and digital life is getting smaller and smaller. After providing a massive amount of services getting us on the web-hook respectively the device-hook via smartphones and tablets, the Internet giants are going to make themselves comfortable in everyone\u2019s home.\nSmart home devices like Nest, Tado or Netatmo are just the beginning of a new breed of appliance classes that are becoming the eyes in people\u2019s private sphere that haven\u2019t been connected to the internet and are yet to become the grapplers of Google & co. Intelligent private assistants like Amazon Echo or Google Home have become the next evolutionary level, which can be used to control smart home devices or make our lives easier by simply using our voice. On a side note, we should use the term \u201cintelligent\u201d very carefully since the commands are pretty much pre-defined scripts. And frankly speaking, I don\u2019t have the impression that neither Apple\u2019s Siri nor Amazon\u2019s Alexa (the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engine behind Echo) is currently learning from my interactions.\nHowever, this progress of technological developments shows one thing: Amazon, Google & co. find new ways to engage with us over other channels, collecting the data, information and knowledge they need to make better decisions and deliver better answers back to us. Therefore, they clearly follow one purpose. Every one of us is simply being used to train their Artificial Intelligence on a daily basis. Meaning, all the services Google & co. offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get.\nEffect on the End Consumers: Convenience in the Rat Race\nEnd consumers basically do not have much to complain about. Following the quid pro quo principle, in particular Google and Facebook provide fancy services for free and just take data in return. And, the digital addiction plays perfectly into their hands. End consumers have checked-in into the \u201cHotel California.\u201d And even if they can check-out at any time, the question is, do they want to leave?\nThe tragic answer to this question is no. Once one is part of this circle, it is pretty hard or impossible to leave. The reason is that everything is becoming digital. Our society will reach a point where nothing will work without digital services anymore. You could also say that someone who doesn\u2019t exist digitally, doesn\u2019t exist anymore. And by making the user experience even more convenient, nobody has to be a technology expert anymore. This makes entering the \u201cHotel California\u201d trap even worse since the majority of our society doesn\u2019t know how things are connected anymore \u2013 respectively doesn\u2019t know what is really going on. Convenience in the rat race.\nBottom line, the rat race providing everyone\u2019s data is the foundation for Google & co.\u2019s success and their weapons against the established economy.\nEffect on the (Established) Economy: Move, Change and Innovate or Die\nThe most sarcastic part of it is that everyone of us is supporting Google and co. against the established economy, even the established economy itself. Companies of the established economy also have become customers of the Internet giants. For a good reason. In most cases, it doesn\u2019t make sense anymore to run your own IT infrastructure and services in own environments or it is simply too expensive to develop innovative services on your own that already have been developed by Amazon, Google and co. However, the established economy is stuck in a vicious circle. Even if they still own their data \u2013 from a legal perspective \u2013 this doesn\u2019t mean that they exclusively own the knowledge from their data.\nData and insights deduced from data are the foundation on which the Internet giants have built big parts of their businesses. They are working with data and monetizing it. However, this is just one single piece of a big machinery of how the Internet giants work. But this is one piece that gives them the power to disrupt any current working business model of the established economy. Amazon is just one example that already has started to cut out the intermediary in every possible way. We can be sure that companies like DHL, UPS or FedEx are not going to exist in the way they are doing business today \u2013 hint: Amazon Prime Air. Furthermore, Amazon has put everything into place to become a fully end-to-end provider of goods. Digital as well as non-digital.\nSpeaking of Artificial Intelligence, the Internet giants are fully embracing AI. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. But at the same time, the Internet giants are heavily investing into AI. And especially the established economy is the big loser in this game.