The world through the lens of transformation

An in-depth look at how transformations impact technology and business. Regular use of 4th Quadrant is intended to equip and empower readers with the tools to think deliberately and impactfully about change.

Exploring mental models
Trigger second order thinking

Going 'down the rabbit hole'
Explore related topics and expand contextual understanding

Catalysing exposure thinking
Understand the key stakeholders and landscape of transformations

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Snowflake, an optimiser or an innovator?

Snowflake is an optimiser service within a sub-optimal complex system - cloud infrastructure. Snowflake represents an interim solution as the complex system evolves to solve the sub-optimal components of its ecosystem. Can Snowflake’s $12.4 billion valuation be justified beyond this interim phase?

Snippet | Live streaming & the challenge of creating sticky communities

Where live streaming is becoming an increasingly popular social media format, Restream, as a cross-platform simultaneous streaming service, becomes an important tool for streamers to find and retain sticky communities without imposing the limitations of a closed off ecosystem.

Snippet | Furniture retail’s digital frontline

Amazon’s latest version of its AR app compounds on its strategy to enhance the online experience of buying furniture. Its primary objective is to capture the digital market share of furniture retail before giants like IKEA and Costco build out their omnichannel capabilities.

Google does not have social media but it has the web

Google is transforming the search engine from a mere navigational tool to a personal assistant. The clear distinction between Google as a personal assistant compared to competitors like Amazon or Facebook, rests in the fact that Google treats the entire web as its ecosystem.

The catalyst for the next speculative crypto bubble

Cryptocurrencies have a chicken and egg problem - adopting cryptocurrencies requires value tied to its use, but in the absence of a large valuation struggles to actualise those use cases. Instead it relies on a series of consolidating speculative bubbles to edge towards adoption.

Twitter’s conversation model isn’t a model for growth

Twitter participation tends toward headlines more than conversations. When users engage with or create headlines themselves, the conversation is less focal and less persistent, and instead, a barrage of transient headlines takes its place.

Snippet | The Netflix Shuffle

For streaming services like Netflix, the battle for users’ discretionary time occurs on two major fronts - content and personalisation. Hacking personalisation through sophisticated recommender engines becomes as important as content in achieving retention in a saturated market.

Snippet | Tiktok’s virality and music distribution

The partnership with UnitedMasters, a music distributor, is a strategic move by TikTok to build on its ability to be more than an entertainment platform and become the home for young independent artists seeking an avenue for exposure.

Data dividends: The EU moves to monetise its citizens’ data

The EU Commission’s proposal to establish a ‘data trust marketplace’ for Europe’s 500 million citizens stands at odds with the EU’s staunch data privacy regulations. This shift signals the European urgency to compete with the tech economies of China and the US.

Grab and Gojek, unlikely gatekeepers of the underbanked in SEA

There is an immense amount of value in being the funnel to capture the underbanked economic potential of Southeast Asia. The power of Grab and Gojek fintech ventures then lies in the ability to create that funnel by building out the capacity to financially profile users.