Inter-networked strategy and work

[ a p e r t u r e | Newsletter #21] — May 2019

Dan Colceriu
May 20 · 7 min read

Dan Colceriu, curator of a p e r t u r e |Newsletter and head of research at Pangea.

a p e r t u r e | Newsletter #21 — artwork by @morysetta (IG)

Tech markets and corporate strategy — evolving over time

The Evolution of M&A and Corporate Strategy — this podcast contains strategy career lessons from Stephanie Cohen, Chief Strategy Officer at Goldman Sachs. Among many topics, she discusses bottom-up vs top-down, innovation-led tensions and conflicts, Fintech, the importance of narratives and positioning.

Consumer vs. enterprise tech IPOs in the last ten years short tweet from James Wang analyzing the performance of tech IPOs over the last ten years. Enterprise tech IPOs are 6x more prolific, while in the consumer tech FAANG is sucking out the oxygen.

Source: Twitter, James Wang @jwangARK

A new era for enterprise IT — There is plenty of opportunity left in the enterprise IT space, writes Aaron Levie, of Box. The shift to SaaS has increased market sizes, by freeing them from the hands of a few vertically integrated, monolithic vendors, to the benefit of best-of-breed platforms — which are not only cloud-native, but API-native, enabling a shift which Aaron calls from IT stacks to cloud ecosystems.

Markets Are 10X Bigger Than Ever — Echoing Aaron, Elad Gil also writes about the fact that software markets and businesses are 10X bigger than they were 10–15 years ago. Hence, we can expect even more $1 to $10 billion software companies than before, growing (faster than ever) and also emerging from outside existing tech clusters.

Pre-announcing as a Strategy Particularly for the enterprise software market, pre-announcing a product can have stronger strategic value than most people think,writes Steven Sinofsky. First of all, enterprise tech is (still) complex — despite the move to SaaS which certainly simplifies things — so the rules of customer excitement don’t really apply, on the contrary, it can have negative returns (since corporate customers use the pre-announcement to weigh alternatives, test for suitability etc). Sometimes pre-announcing is a required strategy, due to the way the company operates: enabling and nurturing third-party, indirect channels; cater to customers’ strategic planning processes; signalling expanded view and new initiatives.

Incumbent fintech, scale-ups are coming

What’s at stake?

Outgrowing Advertising: Multimodal Business Models — The reason I’m sharing this superb article from Connie Chan in this section is that there are many things at stake with improving (or replacing) the current financial services infrastructure in the Western World (e.g. financial inclusion), but another one that most people oversee is that, in the West, because of the legacy fintech infrastructure, a lot of consumer tech business models are being trapped into either advertising (or more recently subscriptions). China, on the other hand, having leapfrogged retail banking altogether (straight into AliPay and WeChat) — is creating incredibly interesting business models based on micro-payments. This is a theme we have touched upon in Episode #1 of oura p e r t u r e | Podcast, shared at the beginning of the digest.

Does the best talent sit inside organizations anymore?

The End of Loyalty? — Laetitia Vitaud has published yet another magnificent articlelooking at the role of companies in the age of rising freelancing. Before, companies would hire employees to minimize the transaction costs of doing business as well as foster loyalty which increased productivity. But as Laetitia writes, this concept has now been turned on its head. To quote: “Today’s loyalty no longer depends on being an employee. In fact employees may feel stuck in their company and resentful, while contract workers may feel very loyal to a client company whose purpose they fully embrace.”

The rise of the Growth Platform Both Laetitia’s and Simone’s vision is shared by my colleague Ben Robinson, in his latest article shared at the beginning of the digest.

The Irresistible Future of Organizing — More than twenty years later, we have the technology, and possibly the will, to realize Margaret Weathley’s vision of transforming companies from organizations constructed as machines, to self-organizing and self-renewing networks. This article from 1996 is a gem. We are entering a new era.

Changing the world takes time.

It’s Ecosystems, Not Inventions That Truly Change the World — Even more, writes Greg Satell, it is not the technological inventions, but the ecosystems they spawn that usually shape the future, and hence the decades to come. If strong technologies adapt the world to themselves, then it takes roughly thirty years for the secondary business models spawned by ecosystems to fully realize themselves into the society. Greg’s advice is, irrespective of working with strong or weak technologies, it is critical to figure out how you are going to connect.


My name is Dan Colceriu, head of research at Pangea, and I hope you enjoyed this read.
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a p e r t u r e

a p e r t u r e is built on the exchange of ideas around technology, strategy and the dynamics of the platform economy. A content hub and a community.

Dan Colceriu

Written by

strategy @ThePangeaEffect | content and community at @aperture_hub

a p e r t u r e

a p e r t u r e is built on the exchange of ideas around technology, strategy and the dynamics of the platform economy. A content hub and a community.

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