Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2010 (Revised November 2012)

Savage Beast (A1)

by Noam Wasserman and LP Maurice

Abstract

For several months, things had been spiraling downwards at Savage Beast, the music-recommendation company started three years before by Tim Westergren. The company's founder-CEO recently left due to pressures both at home and within the venture. Dozens of investors turned thumbs-down on the venture; salaries had been cut, and tensions had risen within the founding team. Now Westergren, the founder who has taken over as CEO, is facing even deeper pressures as he finds out about a lawsuit filed by former employees, and he is wondering if it is time to give up on ever achieving his vision. Note: The content of this version is the same as the content in the Savage Beast (A) case (809-069) but includes two directives in the text to students. At the end of page 8, the student is asked to pause and complete a one-question poll. The "page-8" poll asks, "At this point, should Tim persist in trying to build Savage Beast?" Yes or No, and why. At the end of the case, the student is asked to complete a second poll. The "end-of-case" poll asks, "Should Tim persist in trying to build Savage Beast?" Yes or No, and why. If you do not have polling capabilities, you should use the Savage Beast (A) case.

Keywords: Business Exit or Shutdown; Business Startups; Entrepreneurship; Venture Capital; Financing and Loans; Lawsuits and Litigation; Management Teams; Partners and Partnerships;

Citation:

Wasserman, Noam, and LP Maurice. "Savage Beast (A1)." Harvard Business School Case 810-051, January 2010. (Revised November 2012.)