Case | HBS Case Collection | December 2008 (Revised February 2011)

Evan Williams: From Blogger to Odeo (A)

by Noam T. Wasserman and Louis-Philippe Maurice

Abstract

For several months, founder-CEO Evan Williams has felt trapped, unable to control Odeo and its strategic direction. He longs for the "simple" days of Blogger, the previous venture he had co-founded. Although his Blogger experiences had included a major blow-up with his co-founder that had resulted in legal proceedings, a brush with near-bankruptcy, and the laying off of his entire team, Williams has become even more disillusioned with his current venture, Odeo. Odeo, a podcasting pioneer, had debuted almost two years before and had gotten off to a very strong start, with a high-profile debut at a prominent industry conference, coverage on the front page of the New York Times' Business section, and the raising of a large round of financing from a top-tier venture capital firm. His attempts to find an acquirer have failed, layoffs have begun, and he is now facing a meeting with an increasingly hostile board of directors. At that meeting, he is very tempted to resign so he can move on to his next project and regain the thrill of being an entrepreneur.

Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Business Startups; Decision Choices and Conditions; Entrepreneurship; Venture Capital; Information Technology Industry;

Citation:

Wasserman, Noam T., and Louis-Philippe Maurice. "Evan Williams: From Blogger to Odeo (A)." Harvard Business School Case 809-088, December 2008. (Revised February 2011.)