Case | HBS Case Collection | July 2003 (Revised October 2013)

Model N Inc.

by Marco Iansiti and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld


The CEO of a Silicon Valley start-up needed to make organizational and product changes to deliver a new software solution to a Fortune 500 customer. He was wondering how he should structure the company to best meet the requirements for this particular customer, while also positioning the company for future growth. He was operating under a tight time frame and was considering options ranging from focusing the entire company on this one project to spreading out his team over several projects. The case raises such issues as developing a successful business model for a software company, outlining a distinction between software platforms and software applications, strategies for product development in tight time frames, leading a company through a transition, knowing when it is time to change directions, setting and communicating a new direction amid ambiguity, and judging how much change employees can handle at one time.

Keywords: Business Model; Business Startups; Trends; Communication; Customer Focus and Relationships; Selection and Staffing; Time Management; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Business Strategy; Software; Computer Industry;


Iansiti, Marco, and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld. "Model N Inc." Harvard Business School Case 604-015, July 2003. (Revised October 2013.)