Jeff is a Senior Partner at GRAPH Strategy. Jeff has over 12 years of strategy experience, both in consulting and in industry. He has led over 100 Commercial Due Diligence and M&A strategy cases on targets that ranged from the lower mid-market to large-cap public companies. READ MORE
The Battlefront for the Keystone Position in an Ecosystem
Direct competition between ecosystems – iOS vs. Android; Google+ (soon to be defunct) vs. Facebook – is often studied and constantly the subject of various tech press and opinion pieces. There are many good reasons for this that all analogize to competitive tournaments:
A Practical Commercial Diligence Approach to Assess the Risk of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Disruption
The impact of constantly expanding applications of AI technology (Note 1) has many investors nervous about traditional human-labor-based businesses – from professional and technical services to administrative clerks. The sustainability of these businesses is a deep and challenging topic to assess. However, it is made harder by the convoluted analytics that many consultants have proposed to…
Avoiding Asymmetric Competitors in Technology Investing
In a recent conversation with a leading technology-focused sponsor, I was asked an interesting question: if [insert hyperscale technology company name] is getting into everything, then how do I know what’s safe? In this case, we were talking about Amazon, but the same could have applied to Microsoft, Google, Apple, Salesforce, Adobe, and more.
Building Habits to Reduce Due Diligence Mistakes
Private Equity investing has been described as a combination of art and science, calling on a wide range of disciplines to make good judgements. In that spirit, I wanted to share a few thoughts I use to test my own judgment. They all surround a central question: What am I missing?
Value Gen: Transitioning the Core Business
In search of higher multiples, investors and their advisors are increasingly pressuring companies to transition their core business to match “themes” that earn higher valuations. For instance, businesses that would rightly be described as professional services with just a hintof a technology base – such as a staffing service with a proprietary database – become “technology enabled…
Discovering Repeatable Growth
Over the years, I have heard multiple M&A professionals say “we don’t underwrite hopes and dreams,” by which they mean new tactics proposed, but not tested, by Management (and their bankers). What is not discussed as often are the new tactics that have been tested…but that are destined to work just once. These tactics are what we call unrepeatable growth stimulants, UGS (or just,…
Commercial Due Diligence and Value Generation via Network Effects
Many attractive investments are predicated on network effects – these are businesses that connect users, buyers, and/or suppliers. Companies like Visa, eBay, and LinkedIn have famously enjoyed the benefits of network effects to accrue immense, highly durable value. Outside of software, businesses such as recruiting, retailing, media, health provider networks, and many others, enjoy network…