Case | HBS Case Collection | December 2010 (Revised November 2014)

Steven Carpenter at Cake Financial

by Thomas R. Eisenmann and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld


After investing $9 million of venture capital, Cake Financial had failed to reach critical mass. In early 2010 Cake's assets were sold and the company was dissolved. Founded in 2006, the San Francisco-based Internet company allowed users to monitor their investments and communicate with each other about their portfolio strategies. The case recounts key decisions made by founder and CEO Steve Carpenter, including several "pivots"—shifts in business model, position, and strategy—made by Cake's team in response to market feedback.

Keywords: Corporate Entrepreneurship; Business or Company Management; Business Model; Growth and Development Strategy; Business Strategy; Internet; Financial Services Industry; Web Services Industry;


Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld. "Steven Carpenter at Cake Financial." Harvard Business School Case 811-041, December 2010. (Revised November 2014.)