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When it comes to fencing, be it with words or weapons, Dulci Wycroft considers herself more than the equal of any man. Only once has she ever met her match....Jack, Viscount Wainsbridge, is all charm and quick wit in the ballroom, but his impenetrable green eyes hint at darkness underneath. His dangerous work leaves no space for love-yet Dulci's voluptuous figure is impossibly tempting.He's sure it won't take him long to discover if her sharp tongue can have other, more pleasurable, uses!
After its dramatic corporate turnaround, the Swedish telecom infrastructure company Ericsson hires a new CEO to bring the former Swedish flagship company back on track. Puts students in the shoes of Carl-Henric Svanberg, an industry outsider and CEO of locks group Assy Abloy, who does not hesitate a moment when he gets the call in early 2003. Looks back on the reasons for Ericsson's current situation and the recent restructuring programs that cut the company's staff and operating expenses in half. Presents Svanberg's vision for how to re-energize the ailing company and reach profitability once again, and gives students the opportunity to debate these issues.
Eric Weiss, Harvard MBA '77, was fired only three months after joining the company. To be used with Eric Weiss (B).
In November 2007, Amazon introduced the Kindle, the first electronic reader with wireless functionality. The case describes the launch of the Kindle and provides information on representative players in the industry (or broader ecosystem) who are likely to be affected, and react: including Penguin (the leading educational publisher), Barnes & Noble (the largest bricks-&-mortar retailer), Apple and Sony (as manufacturers of competing devices), Google (as a major provider of free e-content) and Adobe (as a competitor in creating an e-book standard).
Thomas McDonald, senior vice president of Equity International, is weighing an investment in the Brazilian homebuilder Gafisa. Was this the right country? The right company? The right co-investor? The right time? McDonald would be investing alongside a Brazilian private equity firm, GP Investments, and must decide how to structure the investment. Especially, he must decide how to align his interests with those of GP. GP has recruited EI due to its prior experience with the Mexican homebuilder Homex. McDonald must also consider: Is that experience transferable to this investment?
Setting equitable and "market" level compensation for founders and early employees of startups is one of the most important elements of a new venture. It is not only central to attract and retain the best human capital for the startup, but is critical to align incentives between investors and management. This note provides a framework to think about compensation in startup ventures and is intended for entrepreneurs thinking about starting a venture, as well as for employees looking to join a young high-potential startup.
In June 2003, 10 leading international banks adopted new voluntary guidelines, called the Equator Principles, to promote sustainable development in project finance. In recent years, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) had raised issues about the lenders' responsibilities in projects that could harm the environment and/or society. Although many banks had environmental policies in place, a uniform industry standard did not exist. The principles, borrowed from and with the active support of the World Bank's International Finance Corp. (IFC), established guidelines to ensure that banks financed only projects that were "socially responsible and reflected sound environmental management practices." Some NGOs applauded the banks' efforts, others criticized the principles for reasons related to their scope, implementation procedures, and enforcement mechanisms. The Equator banks had to decide what to do next. They could try to recruit more banks (and export credit agencies), develop implementation procedures, or respond to the criticism directly.
Equality of opportunity is endorsed universally even though, or more likely because, it can mean such different things to different people. What definition of equality of opportunity ought to figure into policy decisions? How close, or far, is the United States from providing equal opportunity? Instructors may also obtain a Teaching Note, written by this case's author, that provides suggestions for using this case effectively in the classroom.
It took BJ Lee many years to learn how to navigate the patent minefield that was the global LED industry. When his company was first spun off from the Industrial Technology Research Institute in Taiwan, he thought the essence of a good IP strategy was to develop a technology portfolio that was different from everybody else. But in the ensuing two decades of competition and litigation, he came to appreciate some of the nuances that enabled his company to have freedom to practice. This case exposes that journey and some of the learnings.
Epilogue: Creating a Culture of Leadership and Learning: What Organizations Can Do to Help Managers--and Build Competitive Advantage in the Processby Linda A. Hill
Management development has become an increasingly hot topic as organizations have come to realize that talent is an important driver of competitive advantage in the twenty-first century. Many have begun to take seriously the financial and human costs of even one failed manager and the growing body of evidence that points to the value produced by exceptional managers compared to their average counterparts. Making the business case for attracting, developing, and retaining talent is easy. Making it happen from day to day is another matter altogether. In this insightful epilogue to the second edition of her classic book, Becoming a Manager, Linda A. Hill explores what organizations can do to help managers in their journey to lead and learn. This chapter was originally published as the Epilogue of "Becoming a Manager: How New Managers Master the Challenges of Leadership."
IT has changed not only the way we work and conduct business, but also how we (and our customers) play, how we consume, and how we educate our next generations. And yet the IT phenomenon, so evident in the expenditures of every organization, has not yet achieved management attention equal to other areas, such as finance, marketing, operations, and human resources. The main problem according to the authors? The absence of systematic frameworks that are useful in actual practice. This epilogue presents a brief outline of seven categories for developing IT management systems and examines the IT manager as a business leader. This chapter is excerpted from "The Adventures of an IT Leader."
Chevron Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, manages a worldwide, vertically integrated value chain from the oil well to the gasoline station. Mishandling of oil at any stage of production can damage the natural environment, human health, corporate profitability, or all three. But at the same time Chevron needs to be prudent about the amount of money it spends on measures to manage these risks, and environmental programs within the firm can conflict with a long-standing tradition of decentralized management. To manage risks more efficiently, Chevron executives are contemplating the use of quantitative decision tools that enable operating managers to compute rough benefit-cost ratios for various alternative risk management projects. The case focuses on the pros and cons of using such tools within the context of Chevron's overall system for environmental risk management.
"Selling and Marketing in the Entrepreneurial Venture" discusses key aspects of selling and marketing in an entrepreneurial venture. The Reading explains how to identify and test a venture's potential with early adopters, how to identify core customers, and how to integrate selling and marketing activities in a new business. It also sheds light on how entrepreneurs can sharpen their understanding of customers, as well as gain valuable insights into the venture's product or service, by conducting visits with potential customers. In addition, this Reading provides an in-depth example of a relatively young company that discovers a need to redefine who its best customers should be. The Reading dispels myths about what defines an effective salesperson and explores basic aspects of integrating selling and marketing in a venture, including how best to use the sales funnel framework and how to make decisions about the company's go-to-market system. A supplementary reading offers deeper insight into the considerations that potential customers evaluate in deciding whether to switch from a product or service they are currently using to one offered by a new venture. A second supplemental section analyzes the selling and marketing challenges faced by the founders of an engineering startup and the strategies the founders formulate and execute to surmount those challenges and drive growth in the business.
This Reading takes a deep look at the venture capital (VC) industry in the United States. VCs have a unique perspective on opportunity evaluation, deal structure, new venture support, and exit strategy. Their work at all stages of the entrepreneurial life cycle offers many lessons to company founders, even those whose ventures are not backed by VC's. This Reading follows the chronological cycle of VC activity from the entrepreneur's vantage point: deal evaluation, deal pricing, structure and terms, working with VCs once the deal has been signed, and exit. The topics of deal pricing, structure, and terms are treated in particular depth through a detailed examination of a "term sheet"-the contract that sets out the terms of the VC financing.
This Reading explores how entrepreneurial leaders develop strategies, build capabilities, design their organizations, and address leadership and governance issues as they transition to growth and pursue increased scale and scope. It covers 3 ventures in detail-2 of which achieved economies of scale as they grew existing business and economies of scope as they expanded into new products and markets. It also examines a business that demonstrates the challenges many entrepreneurial leaders face as they pursue increased scope. Many believe that entrepreneurial leaders who launch a startup are unable to switch their approach to meet the needs of their growing businesses. Others, including the authors, claim that the skills required for growth can be learned. Regardless, entrepreneurs who wish to stay with their business must acquire new skills and capabilities and bring on the resources their growing company needs.
Global ventures are those that weave globalization into their businesses from the start. Technological advances and emerging markets are enabling entrepreneurs to extract more value than ever before from setting up in multiple countries. Also, the emergence of new kinds of competitors and threats makes it even more important for founders to seize the advantages of globalization early on. As a result, many founders purposefully embed globalization into the core of their ventures, rather than becoming global as ventures mature. This Reading provides insights and best practices to help founders avoid pitfalls and create a truly global strategy. The author offers a framework for categorizing ventures on the basis of whether they are globalizing primarily: products and services; people, ideas, and technologies; or finance. It also considers whether ventures are seeking to globalize the best they have to offer or to harness the best the world has to offer. After founders determine what they hope to gain from globalization, they must choose the best locations, decide how many countries to enter, adapt their business models to each location, and navigate the unique operational and managerial difficulties facing young global ventures. The Reading does not consider international entrepreneurship in its traditional sense. It is not about how starting a domestic-market-oriented company in Brazil differs from starting one in Japan, nor is it about long-established companies deciding to open their first facility abroad or evaluating how they will enter their 90th country. The insights in this Reading can inform managers in such companies but does so through the lens of ventures that were "born global." These young global ventures face more resource constraints, opportunity costs, and founding-team challenges than do large, established, and traditional companies. Focusing on these businesses helps identify key business model traits related to globalization.
"Financing Entrepreneurial Ventures" introduces students to the key issues involved in the financing of entrepreneurial enterprises. The Reading begins by examining how business models shape external financing requirements. It then contrasts the choice to bootstrap with the option to raise external funds, as well as the traits of debt versus equity investment. Students learn about the different types of equity investors-including angels, VCs, and strategic investors-and follow an entrepreneurial venture's path through the financing stages. Students also examine how entrepreneurs can adjust business models to match financial conditions, and how they can reduce financing needs through alternative models such as partnerships. Finally, the Reading covers emerging funding models-such as crowdsourcing and accelerators-and the global aspects of entrepreneurial finance. There are 6 Interactive Illustrations included in the Reading: "Calculating a Cumulative Cash Flow Curve," "Asset Intensity Ratio," "Building a Cap Table," "How Investor Expectations and Target Returns Drive Company Ownership," "Payouts from Simple Equity and Convertible Investments," and "Seed Note Ownership and Value."
Entrepreneur Eric Ries coined the term "lean start-up" to describe organizations that follow the principles of hypothesis-driven entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs in these startups translate their vision into business model hypotheses, then test the hypotheses using a series of "minimum viable products," each of which represents the smallest set of features or activities needed to validate a concept. Founders of a lean start-up also know that time counts among their scarcest resources. Put simply: speed matters. Like lean manufacturing, the lean start-up method accelerates the tempo of innovation by using rapid iteration, small batches, and short cycle times. "Experimenting in the Entrepreneurial Venture" begins by contrasting the hypothesis-driven entrepreneurship approach with other methods. The Reading also explains, step-by-step, how to formulate business model hypotheses, test them, and act on the test feedback. In the final section, the Reading considers what settings are best suited for hypothesis-driven entrepreneurship. The Reading also includes a section on special topics, a glossary of key terms, and suggestions for complimentary cases and further reading.
Success in launching a new business depends on an entrepreneur's ability to clearly communicate the market opportunity, outline the proposed solution, describe the implementation plan and expected benefits for all stakeholders, and account for the risks involved. A crisp, well-articulated business plan and pitch are therefore two of the most critical components in building a successful venture. "Developing Business Plans and Pitching Opportunities" explains how to translate a business model into a compelling business plan and pitch. The Reading introduces the concept of entrepreneurial planning and the current debates about its role in early-stage ventures. It also covers the importance of crafting a succinct, powerful pitch for a new business plan, how to practice and present that pitch, and how to craft it so that it effectively conveys the opportunity to different stakeholders in different situations.
On the basis of its innovative medical device for treating sleep apnea, CEO Peter Farrell has made Australian-born ResMed a successful global company. But the company is struggling to implement a strategy to expand the device from its focused core market to a much broader market for sufferers of stroke and congestive heart failure-an approach that involves an entirely different business model to sell modified products through new channels. This challenge is exacerbated by an organization in which the key R&D and manufacturing resources are located in Australia while the major markets are in the United States and Europe. At the conclusion of the case, Farrell must decide what action to take on several fronts. Strategically, he must decide whether to continue pursuing this five-year-old market expansion initiative; organizationally, he must decide whether the locus of initiative should be moved from Australia to Germany, the most promising market for the stroke and CHF application; and managerially, he must decide how to deal with the management team that has struggled with this new initiative for so long.
This case tracks the new product development process undertaken by Gauri Nanda, the founder and CEO of Nanda Home, as she ventures to innovate beyond her initial product launches. Having achieved commercial success with her first product Clocky, a roll away alarm clock that owners interacted with in a way they found functionally and emotionally appealing, and after two extensions of the line, Nanda thought it was time to design, develop and market another item that would solve an everyday problem with lifelike charm. She wanted to create a clock that would appeal to children and their parents by facilitating kids' going to sleep and waking up routines. However, there were several factors Nanda had to grapple with before she could commit to final manufacturing design and development. Did she conduct sufficient market research to verify the desire for the 'Clockiddie' concept and the features planned? Were her assumptions about parents and kids valid to suggest the product would be in high demand once launched? Could she keep a premium price point in a consumer market that was trending downward in willingness to pay? Should she cut back on differentiating features to reduce costs and price? Or could the product be engineered under current specifications to an acceptable cost of goods and retail price point? These decisions had to be made soon so that the product could be launched to meet the back to school buying period.
The Entrepreneurial Mindset: 9. Selecting and Executing Your Entry Strategy: Employing an Entrepreneurial Mindsetby Ian C. Macmillan Rita Gunther Mcgrath
The Entrepreneurial Mindset: 7. Selecting Your Competitive Terrain: Employing an Entrepreneurial Mindsetby Ian C. Macmillan Rita Gunther Mcgrath
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