Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2001 (Revised July 2001)

Zaplet, Inc.

by Dorothy A. Leonard and Brian DeLacey


Start-up Zaplet, Inc., has radical software, prestigious venture capital funding, and a multitude of business opportunities. New CEO Alan Baratz must select a strategy and redesign the organization to deliver. This case describes the roles and philosophies of the founders and the Kleiner, Perkins venture capitalist in building the company, the creation of the options for various business applications, and the process of selecting a business focus. Issues include the role of experimentation in selecting a market for new technology, the influence of venture capital, the importance of recruiting key employees, transitions for founders, and matching organizational form to strategy. The key decision is how to further focus the company.

Keywords: Corporate Entrepreneurship; Business or Company Management; Information Technology; Organizational Design; Venture Capital; Valuation; Business Strategy; Restructuring; Expansion; Product Development; Innovation Strategy; Human Resources; Information Technology Industry; California;


Leonard, Dorothy A., and Brian DeLacey. "Zaplet, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 601-165, April 2001. (Revised July 2001.)