About Serge Ugarte
Piecing View founder Serge Ugarte possesses an unusual ability to demystify the impact of disruptive technology on investments. He easily bridges the ‘grasp gap’ between technology and investment, through a research, subject matter expertise and an enduring passion for technology, business models and investments.
Find out more about Piercing View founder Serge Ugarte, get a glimpse of his thinking, what drives him and how his early learnings lead to the signals used to identify tomorrow’s investment winners.
Founder, Investor, Analyst, Creator of Internet of Everything Score.
Vice President, Scores Business Development
Oct 2010 – Jun 2012
Director, Internet Business Solutions Group, Financial Services.
Jan 1998 – Oct 2010
Madrid, Spain and New York City
Feb 1992 – Dec 1997
George Mason University
1988 – 1991
University of Navarra
1987 – 1988
Throughout the 2000s, I consulted with large companies focused exclusively on harnessing the promise of the Internet “revolution”. Along with my former colleagues, who wrote a well-known book, NetReady, we introduced a rigor into assessing a company’s execution capability and readiness to compete in the Internet era. In that era, as now, there was a sense of urgency due to the ‘Young Turks’ who were disrupting value chains of entire industries, primarily through the digitization of processes. Silicon Valley is going to eat your lunch, we warned the established corporations. It made for interesting strategies, slide decks, presentations, and rational experimentation. The advice and guidance we provided to beat back the challengers and exploit the opportunities embedded in the transformative Internet network effect were directionally correct but rarely implemented immediately. Many years passed before our recommendations became reality. It became clear to me that assessing and, in fact, predicting whether a particular company’s strategy, initiatives, value generation, momentum, and sustainability would actually achieve the projected shareholder value was very difficult. But it was not impossible.
Transformation never takes place in an instant: battleships need miles and miles of sea room to change course, and that’s only after the value of the disruptive new course has been accepted and adopted. But disruptive change, adopted as an asset, not a catastrophe, and with care and nurturing, can provide a competitive advantage and higher shareholder value that stay-the-course competitors would not be able to match.
I don’t believe we ever got it entirely right. But I did figure out that I wanted to codify the learning. I wanted to leverage the strategic consulting tools, insights, presentation approaches, and business model workshops I had developed. There were three flavors of organizations that I observed: I don’t believe we ever got it entirely right. But I did figure out that I wanted to codify the learning. I wanted to leverage the strategic consulting tools, insights, presentation approaches, and business model workshops I had developed. There were three flavors of organizations that I observed:
1. The first was the let’s hit a home run organization: those who eagerly try to defy the laws of physics and business and focus energies, money, and resources on a big, audacious, transformation through one or two mind-blowing initiatives.
2. The second type of organization was the let’s think this through: very, very, very carefully, with multilayered governance and minimal budgets, to experiment using very similar ROI thresholds and benchmarks as any of their other initiatives.
3. The third type of organization had the realistic yet enthusiastic approach. These companies fully acknowledged that this was not an incremental change to business practices and value creation, but more likely a shift across the industry. They recognized that it required more than tweaks to channel or distribution or sales or customer service. And they deployed emerging digital business models that could very well broaden their competitive moat over time. Clearly this last type was the most fun to engage with because they understood that focus, persistence, layers of innovation, patience, reasonable risk taking, and accepting small wins with failures was the new model. This gave them a higher likelihood of coming out on top: certainly a better chance than with the Hail Mary-home run or super conservative approaches.
As an independent investor and researcher, I have an outside-in perspective. I focus on identifying industries and companies within specific industries that ‘get it’: the companies that are clearly placing their bets, driving results, hiring talent, and maintaining momentum so they can pull ahead of the competition. Why do I share this? We are rapidly entering into a similar dynamic as during the Internet disruption, but one with more profound implications. The IoE will usher in transformation across businesses, industries, agriculture, cities, energy, mining, connected value chains, transportation, and human relations. We will see all 3 three types of responses by established companies.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to understand who is who and be able to predict the horse race, or at least watch the race unfold and see if you were right? So I asked myself a series of questions: Wouldn’t it be interesting to understand who is who and be able to predict the horse race, or at least watch the race unfold and see if you were right? So I asked myself a series of questions:
– What if one could assess, benchmark, compare, and predict a company’s likely success or failure in the IoE economy?
– What if one could benchmark and compare similar competitors and companies on their success or failure in harnessing IoE opportunities?
– What if one could use this information as a predictive signal for competitive advantage and accelerating shareholder value?
– Accepting these ‘what ifs’ as true, I moved on to think about what I could do to make them a reality:
– Could I develop a score—a simple, straightforward, easily understood numeric value—and its underlying methodology as a signal? A signal which could prove to be a uniquely representative score? One signal of many for long-term investors; but highly correlated and representative Could I use that score as an educational tool for other investors interested in knowing how a company or an industry segment is doing across the spectrum of IoE opportunities?
– Could the underlying framework, process and methodology provide an important standard for ongoing modelling and other company insights? Leveraging years in strategy development methodology creation and algorithm / scoring knowledge, I developed a framework to serve this purpose: the IOE Scoreview framework, with the IOE Score as the signal.
Leveraging years in strategy development methodology creation and algorithm / scoring knowledge, I developed a framework to serve this purpose: the IOE Scoreview framework, with the IOE Score as the signal.
Piercing View’s IOE framework consistently collects and evaluates information about a company’s activities specific to IoE strategies. We collect all data points with an outside-in approach: information collected is publicly available. Those who have developed models like this before will recognize that one of the most important factors for success over time, and especially to gain momentum for a statistically valuable indicator, is to minimize required inputs as much as possible. This ensures consistent availability of the data the model needs and it creates a scoring and calculation approach that does not favor — by accident or by design — one company over another. The scoring approach and calculations need to be absolutely transparent and equally applicable for all. Piercing View intends, with the clear and concise IoE Score methodology, to deeply understand emerging digital disruptions across industries and avoid getting blinded by new and shiny objects. We have the discipline, the patience, and the subject-matter expertise to extract the signal from the noise and separate industry winners from the rest of the pack. We are not in the business of evaluating technology trends or even understanding the complexities of each IoE platform, drone tweak, API engine, or ‘go-to-market solution’. Although we have a good grasp of the technology architecture, this is not our focus. If we have learned anything from the internet revolution so far, it is that driving shareholder value has more to do with providing differentiated results and value for the end customer than having the latest and greatest new standard, software, protocol, machine or device.
Piercing View exists to identify incumbent organizations that are doing the right things build sustainable value. We look forward to travelling this journey with you!
Essence of Piercing View
Piercing View offers a scalable analytics and technology platform to supercharge ‘signals’ and delve into insights as well as adding breadth of company and industry coverage.
Key features include:
– A consistent and methodical research approach to assess, benchmark, compare, predict likely success or failure, benchmarking and comparing similar companies and competitors.
– An algorithm and scoring database to systematically collect, assess, and generate company scores across the S&P (Global Industry Categorization) 1500 addressable companies.
– A scalable analytics and technology platform to identify predictive signals for a competitive advantage and accelerated shareholder value.- A research and analytics team and company coverage.
– A carefully developed and tested propriety IOE Score to isolate the signal from the noise.
Piercing View offers reports for those needing information as needed or a full-stack outsourced advisory and consulting service.