Grab, Gojek and especially Shopee are really getting international attention now. As I’m writing this, Sea Ltd is at +$125B market capitalization. SE Asia has really arrived as a tech market. The investor who always comes to my mind when I think about these companies and SE Asia is Tom Russo. He has been investing […]
Category Archives: Company Quality, Industry, and Terrain (Ques 1-2)
Switching Costs, Wabco and Buffett’s Critical Companies (Tech Strategy – Podcast 85)
In this podcast, Jeffrey Towson discusses the concept of “criticality” as a type of switching cost. He specifically talks about Wabco, one of Warren Buffett’s companies that has fairly powerful B2B criticality. Wabco is a supplier of braking systems for trucks and buses, and its products are critical to the operation of these vehicles. As a result, customers are reluctant to switch to other suppliers, even if Wabco’s prices are higher. This gives Wabco a strong competitive advantage.
6 Early Indicators of the Greatness of Sea Limited (Asia Tech Strategy – Daily Update)
Sea Limited is rocking and rolling. Jumping from gaming to ecommerce. Then to payment and financial services. And now to Mexico. There is a growing public consensus that the Sea management team is extraordinarily effective. That’s cool. But it would have been much better to know that two years ago, when the stock was much […]
My 9 Investment Questions (Tech Strategy – Podcast 75)
In this episode of the Asia Tech Strategy podcast, Jeffrey Towson shares his 9 investment questions. These questions can help you evaluate companies for investment by assessing their competitive strengths, market size, and management team. Towson also discusses the importance of building digital moats, which are sustainable competitive advantages that make it difficult for competitors to imitate.
An Introduction to Baozun (BZUN), the Dark Horse of China Ecommerce (Asia Tech Strategy – Daily Update)
I like the saying that winning in digital B2C is like catching lightning in a bottle. But winning in digital B2B is more like mining. The former happens really fast but is difficult to predict. The latter is slower but pretty reliable when you’re in the right spot. You just keep digging away over time. […]
The 3 Effects of Network Effects. Plus So-Young’s Cool Marketplace. (Tech Strategy – Podcast 67)
In this podcast, Jeffrey Towson discusses the three effects of network effects, and how they can be used to create a competitive advantage. He also talks about So-Young, a Chinese marketplace for beauty services, and how it is using network effects to grow its business.
My 9 Investment Questions: Part 1 (Asia Tech Strategy – Daily Update)
I’ve been teaching a private equity class at CEIBS in Shanghai for like 5 years. I call it private equity but it’s really about how to analyze companies and investments. Regardless of whether it is private or public. Whether the approach is active or passive. It’s basically my checklists, which are 9 questions. I’ve mentioned […]
4 Problems with Michael Porter’s Five Forces (Tech Strategy – Podcast 63)
In this podcast, Jeffrey Towson discusses four problems with Michael Porter’s Five Forces framework. He argues that the framework does not work for dynamic and non-classical strategy terrains, platforms and ecosystems, SMILE marathon dimensions, particularly innovation, and the emergence of a connected, digital world.
Waze, Google Maps and How Warren Buffett Made 50% on a Map Company (Jeff’s Asia Tech Class – Daily Update)
I’ve been thinking a lot about mapping companies. On one hand, they are typical “information goods” companies, most of which have had their economics turned upside down by digital. Everything from encyclopedias and phone books to videos and music. There is a long list of previously good businesses that have been transformed, disrupted and/or destroyed. […]
4 Problems with Hamilton Helmer’s 7 Powers (Tech Strategy – Podcast 62)
In this podcast, Jeffrey Towson discusses four problems with Hamilton Helmer’s 7 Powers framework. He argues that the framework is too simplistic, does not account for the role of technology, and does not take into account the different competitive dynamics in different industries.