20VC: 7 Powers: The Foundations of Business Strategy: Deconstructing Economies of Scale, How To Assess True Market Size, Assessing Risk vs Uncertainty, What “Brand As Power” Really Means with Hamilton Helmer, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer @ Strategy Capital

Posted on 18th May 2020 by Harry

Hamilton Helmer is the Managing Partner & Chief Investment Officer @ Strategy Capital a long-only public equity fund that selects securities for investment based on Power Dynamics, a proprietary model of fundamental value, developed by Hamilton over decades of strategy consulting with clients such as Hewlett-Packard, Adobe and more. Hamilton is also the author of one of my favourite books, 7 Powers. If that was not enough, Hamilton is also an Instructor in the Economics Department @ Stanford University.


In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Hamilton made his way into the world of investing from advising some of the largest tech titans on the planet with Adobe and HP?

2.) What is a strategy mental model? What makes the most effective strategic models? What characteristics do they have? How should founders balance between sticking to models and being willing to change them? What are Hamilton’s biggest takeaways from working with Netflix?

3.) “All strategy begins with invention”, what did Hamilton mean by this? How does Hamilton explain the success of copycats in markets? How does Hamilton separate between first mover and creator? How does Hamilton analyse the transition from startup to pricer with scale economics?

4.) How does Hamilton advise founders to view and approach competition? Why does Hamilton totally disagree with the requirement of being 10x better than your competition? Is product innovation alone enough without brand or business model innovation?

5.) How does Hamilton define “brand”? Is brand an attainable strategy alone or is it the byproduct of something else? How transferable is brand in one category to alternative categories? How does a brand truly know when they have sustainable leverage and power?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Hamilton’s Fave BookThe Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe, Stardust

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