Joseph B. Lassiter

Senator John Heinz Professor of Management Practice in Environmental Management

Unit: Entrepreneurial Management

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(617) 495-6134

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Joe teaches Entrepreneurial Finance and Innovation in Business, Energy and Environment in the MBA Program as well as courses in the Executive Education Program. He is Faculty Chair of the University-wide Harvard Innovation Lab.  His academic and professional work focuses on high-potential ventures, including both those formed as new companies and those formed within existing organizations.

From 1994 to 1996, Joe was President of Wildfire Communications, a telecommunications software venture backed by Matrix Partners and Greylock Management. From 1977 to 1994, Joe was a Vice President of Teradyne (NYSE/ automatic test equipment) and a member of its Management Committee. Joe joined Teradyne in 1974 as a Product Manager while on sabbatical from MIT. As a general manager, he was responsible for organizations ranging from start-ups to international, multi-plant businesses. As an individual contributor, he was best known for his work on product development/ sales management problems and on the application of TQM methods to business planning and control.

Joe began his career at MIT's Department of Ocean Engineering as an Instructor in 1970 and was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1972. He developed and taught a course on marine mineral resource economics. He lectured in hydrodynamics, marine transportation, and computer simulation modeling. In a joint program with Harvard Law School, he lectured on marine legal / regulatory policy. His research focused on forecasting economic and environmental consequences of offshore oil and gas development. He was appointed to the MIT-led National Academy of Engineering study on the future of engineering education. Joe received his BS, MS, and PhD from MIT and was awarded National Science, Adams and McDermott Fellowships. He was elected to Sigma Xi.

Featured Work

Publications

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Husk Power

    In late 2013, Husk Power Systems found itself falling further and further behind plan. The founding CEO had decided to resign. His co-founder is faced with the decision of quitting his corporate job in the US to head to India and help form a new management team. Husk is an Indian startup founded in 2007 with the goal of global rural electrification. The company has decided to pivot from operating biomass gasification plants towards developing solar microgrids in India and East Africa.

    Keywords: Plant-Based Agribusiness; Business Model; Business Startups; Energy Generation; Renewable Energy; Social Entrepreneurship; Foreign Direct Investment; International Finance; Globalized Markets and Industries; Crime and Corruption; Employee Relationship Management; Independent Innovation and Invention; Employment; Leadership Style; Leading Change; Management Practices and Processes; Management Style; Management Succession; Management Skills; Emerging Markets; Social Psychology; Culture; Business Strategy; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Energy Industry; Green Technology Industry; Utilities Industry; Africa; India; United States;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Sid Misra. "Husk Power." Harvard Business School Case 815-023, August 2014. (Revised October 2014.) View Details
  2. Strava

    Strava is a new fast-growing social network for the avid cyclist and runner. The Strava case traces the entrepreneurial journey of two serial entrepreneurs who have been co-founders in a prior venture, and who have co-founded Strava 3 years ago. The protagonists must decide whether or not to accept the Series A investment terms from their venture capitalists.

    Keywords: entrepreneurship; cycling; biking; running; Sports; technology; mobile app; mobile; GPS; motivation; behavioral science; founders; term sheet; investment; terms; Silicon Valley; lifestyle; Strava; financing; fundraising; angel; valuation; Growth; forecast; Business Startups; Business Plan; Trends; Forecasting and Prediction; Decision Choices and Conditions; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Institutional Investing; Collaborative Innovation and Invention; Innovation Leadership; Innovation Strategy; Innovation and Management; Technological Innovation; Management Succession; Growth Management; Growth and Development Strategy; Market Timing; Bicycle Industry; Consumer Products Industry; Technology Industry; Sports Industry; Web Services Industry; California; New England;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, William A. Sahlman, and Sid Misra. "Strava." Harvard Business School Case 814-055, February 2014. (Revised September 2014.) View Details
  3. Carbon Engineering

    Dr. David Keith, President of Carbon Engineering, a company based in Calgary, Alberta, is commercializing a technology to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. The company plans to market the captured CO2 to produce low carbon transportation fuels in markets such as California where regulation, derived from a state law designed to manage climate change, restricts the maximum carbon intensity of transportation fuel.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Government Legislation; Technological Innovation; Weather and Climate Change; Environmental Sustainability; Risk and Uncertainty; Research and Development; Transportation; Hardware; Energy; Forecasting and Prediction; Energy Industry; Green Technology Industry; Industrial Products Industry; Transportation Industry; Utilities Industry; Technology Industry; Canada; United States; China; India;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Sid Misra. "Carbon Engineering." Harvard Business School Case 814-040, October 2013. (Revised February 2014.) View Details
  4. TerraPower

    John Gilleland, CEO of TerraPower, returned to his office after a lengthy meeting with potential investors. It was October 2012, and TerraPower was in the process of raising a $200M Series C round to finance the ongoing development of its next-generation nuclear reactor. Though early in the fundraising process, Gilleland noted that this most recent conversation was similar to conversations with other interested cleantech growth equity investors. The conversations circled around a common theme: "This is the biggest idea that's ever been presented at our partners' meeting. We love what you're doing, but it's not right for us as an investment." Outside of raising money from typical growth equity and infrastructure funds, Gilleland could partner with a government and/or form a joint venture with an existing nuclear power player. Reliance Industries as an investor in TerraPower could provide an entry point into the fast growing Indian market. At the same time, Gilleland and Gates had talked with China National Nuclear Corp. about a possible cooperation with TerraPower. Whom should Gilleland call next?

    Keywords: nuclear power; entrepreneurial finance; venture capital; Financing and Loans; Energy Industry; United States; China; India;

    Citation:

    Sahlman, William A., Ramana Nanda, Joseph B. Lassiter III, and James McQuade. "TerraPower." Harvard Business School Case 813-108, November 2012. (Revised December 2013.) View Details
  5. C12 Energy

    C12 aimed to build not only a company, but an entire industry around carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). "You change the world by building a market, and you build a market by building a profitable company that other people copy," said Dawe, C12 Energy's CEO. "In the energy business, you build a company one project at a time. Moving forward with this first project is where we hope to begin to change the world."

    Keywords: carbon sequestration; sustainability; entrepreneurship; cleantech; energy; oil and gas; Business Model; Energy; Entrepreneurship; Environmental Sustainability; Green Technology Industry; Energy Industry; North America;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and James McQuade. "C12 Energy." Harvard Business School Case 813-159, March 2013. (Revised March 2014.) View Details
  6. Affinity Labs, Inc.

    In November 2006, Chris Michel left Military.com, which he founded in 1999, to start Affinity Labs, a global network of online communities. That month, Michel raised a Series A round of venture funding and established a partnership with Monster, which he had sold Military.com to. Within its first year of operations, Affinity Labs launched eight vertical portals including PoliceLink, NursingLink, TechCommunity, and IndiaOn. While the company was well ahead of its original plan to release four portals in 2007, Michel still faced a number of challenges. He had learned a great deal from Military.com and Affinity Labs' first launches, but in the case of each new community was faced with how best to construct the vertical and attract a sufficiently large audience. While the model seemed highly scalable because each vertical used the same core technology, every sector had its unique features. In the fall of 2007, executives from Monster opened up a dialogue with Michel about selling the company or expanding their relationship. Michel wondered if the time was right to sell or if he should grow Affinity Labs further with the hope of creating a company that could command the high valuations seen recently by a number of social networking concerns.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Business Startups; Entrepreneurship; Demand and Consumers; Partners and Partnerships; Social and Collaborative Networks; Online Technology;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Elizabeth Kind. "Affinity Labs, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 813-147, January 2013. (Revised January 2013.) View Details
  7. Foro Energy (B)

    Foro Energy developed proprietary and patent-pending fiber-laser technologies that could disrupt existing processes and services for the exploration and production of oil and natural gas. These breakthrough laser technologies were protected by a strong intellectual property (IP) portfolio, which provided Foro with the flexibility to pursue a number of different business models. The market potential for oilfield applications was large, as global spending in the O&G E&P industry was expected to approach $600 billion in 2012.

    Keywords: Disruptive Technologies; innovation & entrepreneurship; development stage enterprises; entrepreneurial management; entrepreneurs; petroleum; Natural Gas; high technology; Energy; Entrepreneurship; Disruptive Innovation; Technological Innovation; Intellectual Property; Energy Industry;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., William A. Sahlman, and James McQuade. "Foro Energy (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 812-163, June 2012. View Details
  8. Airbnb

    Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk, the three founders of Airbnb, an online private accommodation rental market, stared at each other across the kitchen table in their San Francisco apartment. It was March of 2009. A single sheet of paper sat on the table in front of them. The three founders were on the verge of finishing the three month program at YCombinator (YC), a business accelerator located in Mountain View, CA.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Housing; Information Publishing; Private Ownership; Online Technology; Information Industry; San Francisco;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Evan W. Richardson. "Airbnb." Harvard Business School Case 812-046, September 2011. (Revised March 2014.) View Details
  9. 1366 Technologies: Scaling the Venture

    For some time, 1366's co-founders, Frank van Mierlo and Ely Sachs, had faced a choice, which was now made all the more stark: 1366 could expand to produce silicon wafers itself, raising the required capital from "friendly" investors and building shipment volume slowly, or 1366 could accelerate its market entry dramatically by partnering with the Asian manufacturers that had begun to dominate the world-wide solar industry. While accelerated growth was attractive to 1366 and its current investors, the company believed that it would face considerable risks if it were to expose its intellectual property to the "wrong" partners. 1366 had no intention of losing control of its technology, but given the pace of innovation and the active role of governments in the solar industry, van Mierlo and Sachs feared this might not be a race that could be won by the cautious.

    Keywords: Technology; Innovation Strategy; Corporate Strategy; Intellectual Property; Management Teams; Renewable Energy; Financial Strategy; Growth and Development Strategy; Corporate Finance; Energy Industry; Technology Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, Ramana Nanda, David Kiron, and Evan Richardson. "1366 Technologies: Scaling the Venture." Harvard Business School Case 811-076, March 2011. (Revised August 2012.) View Details
  10. Verengo Solar Plus!

    In the three years since Bishop and Button purchased Verengo in a leveraged buyout (LBO), the company had gone through dramatic changes. Initially a residential windows and insulation firm, after the economic recession of 2008 the company switched gears and began offering solar installations to local residential customers. Aided by favorable regulatory changes and a consumer financing partnership, Verengo's solar business took off and became the company's primary focus. By the end of 2010, Verengo had grown to $27 million in revenue and was the largest solar integrator in Southern California. In December 2010, Verengo raised $9.7 million in growth equity funding and was considering its options for future growth. Eager to expand to markets outside of Southern California, Bishop and Button knew that they had to carefully assess the firm's many opportunities and tightly manage its growth.

    Keywords: Venture Capital; Private Equity; Growth Management; Restructuring; Renewable Energy; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Corporate Finance; Product Development; Energy Industry; California;

    Citation:

    Sahlman, William A., Joseph B. Lassiter III, and Liz Kind. "Verengo Solar Plus!" Harvard Business School Case 812-049, October 2011. (Revised November 2011.) View Details
  11. Khosla Ventures: Biofuels Gain Liquidity

    Samir Kaul, a Partner at Khosla Ventures, looked out his office window. It was late June, 2011, and like almost every day in Menlo Park, the sun was shining. Kaul was reflecting on what had been a very positive 10 months in the venture capital business. Over that span, he had helped three of his portfolio companies through IPOs, and helped Khosla Ventures raise its third fund, bringing the total outside capital raised by the group to more than $2.1B.

    Keywords: Venture Capital; Financial Strategy; Business or Company Management; Partners and Partnerships; Product Development; Investment Portfolio; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, William A. Sahlman, Alison Berkley Wagonfeld, and Evan Richardson. "Khosla Ventures: Biofuels Gain Liquidity." Harvard Business School Case 812-035, September 2011. (Revised July 2012.) View Details
  12. U.S. Department of Energy & Recovery Act Funding: Bridging the "Valley of Death"

    The case focuses on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the $38 billion of stimulus funding the DOE received to encourage clean tech. They focus on "bridging the valley of death" (i.e., helping young, innovative companies finance technically risky and very capital intensive development and commercialization programs). The case focuses on two DOE programs in particular, the Loan Guarantee Program and ARPA-E. The case raises the question of why these valleys of death exist, what can be done to deal with them, and how these DOE programs are designed and implemented.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Financing and Loans; Government and Politics; Innovation and Invention; Programs; Business and Government Relations; Weather and Climate Change; Energy Industry; Green Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Roberts, Michael J., Joseph B. Lassiter III, and Ramana Nanda. U.S. Department of Energy & Recovery Act Funding: Bridging the "Valley of Death". Harvard Business School Case 810-144, June 2010. (Revised June 2011.) View Details
  13. U.S. Department of Energy & Recovery Act Funding: Bridging the "Valley of Death" (TN)

    Teaching Note for 810144.

    Keywords: Energy; Financing and Loans; Risk and Uncertainty; Commercialization; Programs; Innovation and Invention; Capital; Government and Politics; United States;

    Citation:

    Nanda, Ramana, Joseph B. Lassiter III, and Michael J. Roberts. U.S. Department of Energy & Recovery Act Funding: Bridging the "Valley of Death" (TN). Harvard Business School Teaching Note 811-083, April 2011. View Details
  14. The Fox Islands Wind Project (A)

    The market for electricity on the Fox Islands of North Haven and Vinalhaven, Maine is unique and costly for residents. Historically, electricity prices on the islands had been three times the national average because of the high cost of importing electricity via an underwater cable and maintaining the distribution network on the islands. George Baker, a professor at Harvard Business School, decided to lower the energy costs of the island's residents with wind power.

    Keywords: Business Startups; Renewable Energy; Social Entrepreneurship; Cost; Financing and Loans; Projects; Business and Community Relations; Environmental Sustainability; Green Technology Industry; Maine;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, James Thomas Corcoran, Max Gazor, Dylan Hogarty, and Alexander H. Somers, Jr. "The Fox Islands Wind Project (A)." Harvard Business School Case 810-129, June 2010. (Revised February 2011.) View Details
  15. The Fox Islands Wind Project (B)

    Fox Island Wind Cooperative faces criticism from local residents.

    Keywords: Business Startups; Renewable Energy; Social Entrepreneurship; Cooperative Ownership; Business and Community Relations; Conflict and Resolution; Environmental Sustainability; Green Technology Industry; Maine;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Evan Richardson. "The Fox Islands Wind Project (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 811-051, February 2011. View Details
  16. Highland Capital Partners: Investing in Cleantech

    One day during the summer of 2008, Paul Maeder, co-founder and general partner of Highland Capital Partners (HCP), was walking with his wife around Reykjavik, Iceland, marveling at how clean the city felt and at the widespread use of naturally occurring geothermal energy to power everything from trams to buildings. "They don't treat their air and water like an open sewer," Maeder thought. "This is the way people need to live and this is the way people are going to have to start living in 10 or 20 years." To his wife, Maeder said aloud, "I think Highland should revisit the idea of investing in cleantech."

    Keywords: Renewable Energy; Entrepreneurship; Investment; Global Strategy; Environmental Sustainability; Financial Services Industry; Green Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and David Kiron. "Highland Capital Partners: Investing in Cleantech." Harvard Business School Case 811-009, August 2010. (Revised February 2011.) View Details
  17. Khosla Ventures: Biofuels Strategy

    By 2008, a number of the firm's early cleantech investments were showing promise, and the companies were starting to need significantly more money to create the massive scale required in the energy sector. As Khosla thought about the hundreds of millions of dollars required by his portfolio companies, he wondered how he should position his firm at this stage of development. Should Khosla develop a new fund that focused on later-stage investments? Should he seek investments from large industry players such as the major oil companies? Should he try raising money from the managers of the sovereign funds in countries such as Singapore, Kuwait, and China? How should the firm work with its strategic partners? Khosla knew that lining up enough later stage funding would be challenging, as the cleantech industry was still unproven for investors. Nevertheless, he was determined to continue his pattern of making bold investments in this emerging field.

    Keywords: entrepreneurial marketing; entrepreneurial finance; New Product Development; partnerships; entrepreneurial management; Venture Capital; Strategy; Partners and Partnerships; Renewable Energy; Entrepreneurship; Investment Funds; Environmental Sustainability; Product Development; Biotechnology Industry; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, William A. Sahlman, and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld. "Khosla Ventures: Biofuels Strategy." Harvard Business School Case 809-004, September 2008. (Revised July 2012.) View Details
  18. Re-THINK-ing THINK: The Electric Car Company

    On January 5, 2010, 48-year-old Richard Canny was on his way to meet the governor of Indiana. He was reading his newly issued press release announcing that THINK planned to start automobile production in Elkhart County, Indiana to launch its THINK City battery-operated electric vehicle (EV) in the North American market. The announcement boldly outlined plans to invest $43.5 million in a factory that could begin assembling vehicles in early 2011 and that was sized for a manufacturing capacity of more than 20,000 vehicles per year. A proven automotive industry executive, but a first-time entrepreneur, Canny was CEO of Think Global AS (THINK), a privately held Norwegian maker of battery-operated EVs that are rechargeable through residential electrical power outlets. With this announcement, Canny was committing the company to support the broad North American launch of its line of EVs, among the very first commercially available, highway-approved safe cars in the world that produced zero greenhouse gas tailpipe emissions.

    Keywords: Business Startups; Entrepreneurship; Investment; Global Strategy; Market Entry and Exit; Product Development; Production; Pollution and Pollutants; Environmental Sustainability; Auto Industry; Manufacturing Industry; Norway; Indiana;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and David Kiron. "Re-THINK-ing THINK: The Electric Car Company." Harvard Business School Case 810-105, February 2010. (Revised October 2010.) View Details
  19. Calera Corporation

    Brent Constantz, founder, CEO, and president of Calera Corporation, felt a surge of optimism as he gazed at the recently commissioned prototype flue gas processing line at Calera's R&D facility in Moss Landing, California. It was late May 2009, and Calera was an early-stage venture-backed company headquartered in Los Gatos, California with a promising vision to reverse global warming and ocean acidification by adapting one of nature's oldest processes: carbonate mineralization.

    Keywords: Business Startups; Entrepreneurship; Product Design; Product Development; Environmental Sustainability; Commercialization; Green Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, Thomas J. Steenburgh, and Lauren Barley. "Calera Corporation." Harvard Business School Case 810-030, August 2009. (Revised August 2010.) View Details
  20. 1366 Technologies

    Just months after declaring their intent to become a solar cell equipment supplier, van Mierlo and Sachs were again revisiting the issue of what the company should be. Becoming a successful solar cell manufacturer would potentially be much more lucrative than becoming a successful equipment supplier. But, the latter was much less capital intensive and perhaps a less operationally risky approach. For van Mierlo and Sachs, the question—"What kind of company should 1366 become?"—was back on the table.

    Keywords: Business Startups; Energy Generation; Renewable Energy; Entrepreneurship; Financing and Loans; Commercialization; Corporate Strategy; Green Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, Ramana Nanda, and David Kiron. "1366 Technologies." Harvard Business School Case 810-005, October 2009. (Revised June 2010.) View Details
  21. Re-THINK-ing THINK: The Electric Car Company (TN)

    Teaching Note for [810105].

    Keywords: Production; Product Launch; Entrepreneurship; Investment; Environmental Sustainability; Brands and Branding; Distribution; Factories, Labs, and Plants; Auto Industry; Indiana; Norway;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III. "Re-THINK-ing THINK: The Electric Car Company (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 810-133, May 2010. View Details
  22. Ashdown Contracting

    Ashdown's "growth" plan called for Mustafa Khalaf to leave his job as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Ashdown Contracting and to focus his attention on the growth of a separate business entity, Ashdown Pipeline, where Ashdown believed the greatest potential for the future existed. It seemed odd to Mustafa that finding a financial partner capable of providing tens, even hundreds of millions of dollars to reshape an industry was proving to be remarkably easy, while finding a single individual capable of replacing him in his old job was proving to be remarkably hard. As he flagged down a cab, Mustafa's mind wandered back to the challenge that he had been grappling with for many months: how to find his replacement as COO at Ashdown Contracting.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Leadership; Growth and Development Strategy; Management Succession; Market Entry and Exit; Business Strategy;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Firas Alkhatib. "Ashdown Contracting." Harvard Business School Case 808-120, March 2008. (Revised April 2010.) View Details
  23. Affinity Labs, Inc.

    In November 2006, Chris Michel left Military.com, which he founded in 1999, to start Affinity Labs, a global network of online communities. That month, Michel raised a Series A round of venture funding and established a partnership with Monster, which he had sold Military.com to. Within its first year of operations, Affinity Labs launched eight vertical portals including PoliceLink, NursingLink, TechCommunity, and IndiaOn. While the company was well ahead of its original plan to release four portals in 2007, Michel still faced a number of challenges. He had learned a great deal from Military.com and Affinity Labs' first launches, but in the case of each new community was faced with how best to construct the vertical and attract a sufficiently large audience. While the model seemed highly scalable because each vertical used the same core technology, every sector had its unique features. In the fall of 2007, executives from Monster opened up a dialogue with Michel about selling the company or expanding their relationship. Michel wondered if the time was right to sell or if he should grow Affinity Labs further with the hope of creating a company that could command the high valuations seen recently by a number of social networking concerns.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Business Startups; Entrepreneurship; Demand and Consumers; Partners and Partnerships; Social and Collaborative Networks; Online Technology;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Elizabeth Kind. "Affinity Labs, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 809-019, July 2008. (Revised January 2010.) View Details
  24. Nantucket Nectars: The Exit

    The founders of Nantucket Nectars are trying to decide whether and how to sell their company.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Business Exit or Shutdown; Decision Choices and Conditions; Auctions; Food and Beverage Industry; Massachusetts;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, William A. Sahlman, and Noam Wasserman. "Nantucket Nectars: The Exit." Harvard Business School Case 810-041, September 2009. (Revised February 2014.) View Details
  25. Khosla Ventures: Biofuels Strategy (TN)

    Teaching Note for [809004].

    Keywords: Partners and Partnerships; Growth and Development; Financing and Loans; Investment; Emerging Markets; Renewable Energy; Biotechnology Industry; Energy Industry; Singapore; Kuwait; China;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III. "Khosla Ventures: Biofuels Strategy (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 810-015, July 2009. View Details
  26. TH!NK: The Norwegian Electric Car Company

    On August 1, 2007, 61-year-old Jan-Olaf Willums' plane was flying along the Greenland coastline on his way back to Norway after intense discussions with several prominent U.S. venture capital investors, among them Kleiner Perkins and Rockport Capital Partners, about investing in a plan to accelerate his company's entry into the North American market. A successful engineer, entrepreneur, and sustainable development champion, Willums was CEO of Think Global AS (TH!NK), a privately held Norwegian maker of electric vehicles (EVs). Having already raised $85 million in venture backing, TH!NK was just a few months away from the broad European launch of its line of EVs, the first commercially available, highway-safe cars in the world that produced zero greenhouse emissions.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Venture Capital; Innovation and Invention; Product Launch; Market Entry and Exit; Environmental Sustainability; Pollution and Pollutants; Auto Industry; Green Technology Industry; Europe; Norway;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and David Kiron. "TH!NK: The Norwegian Electric Car Company." Harvard Business School Case 808-070, October 2007. (Revised April 2009.) View Details
  27. FREEJ

    Mohammed Harib placed his phone on the desk in front of him. As he sat back in his chair and looked out the window, he began to take stock of how his life had taken such a dramatic path over the last few years. Life was good for the founder and CEO of Lammtara Pictures, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) first 3D animation studio. Recently dubbed "Dubai's answer to Pixar" in a recent magazine article, Lammtara's first animated television show, FREEJ, had taken the Arabian Gulf region by storm a year ago. It was November 2007, and the second season of FREEJ had aired earlier in the fall, smashing the first season's record-breaking viewership numbers.

    Keywords: Animation Entertainment; Entrepreneurship; Emerging Markets; Opportunities; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; Arabian Peninsula; United Arab Emirates;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Firas Alkhatib. "FREEJ." Harvard Business School Case 808-121, March 2008. (Revised September 2008.) View Details
  28. From xiaonei to hainei: The Quest for the Social Networking Service Market in China

    Wang Xing, the founder of Hainei.com, one of the fastest growing social networking service (SNS) providers in China, was preparing to raise funds from venture capitalists. Since late 2003, Wang had established several Internet startups in China. Xiaonei.com, which he founded in December 2005, had been the most notable in China and around the globe for its resemblance in website design and marketing strategies to those of Facebook. The market landscape of SNSs in China had changed drastically since Wang founded Xiaonei.com, with domestic and local competitors flocking into the market. With all his experience and knowledge in the SNS market, Wang had to convince the potential investors that his new venture could warrant sustainable growth and profitable returns.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Venture Capital; Social and Collaborative Networks; Competition; Internet; China;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, Michael Shih-Ta Chen, and Keith Chi-ho Wong. "From xiaonei to hainei: The Quest for the Social Networking Service Market in China." Harvard Business School Case 808-164, June 2008. View Details
  29. Entrepreneurial Marketing: Learning from High-Potential Ventures

    Describes entrepreneurial marketing as both a mind-set and a process. Draws on some 30 business field cases and some 300 student projects that provide insight into what managers do in high-potential settings.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Managerial Roles; Marketing;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III. "Entrepreneurial Marketing: Learning from High-Potential Ventures." Harvard Business School Background Note 803-036, October 2002. (Revised August 2007.) View Details
  30. OfficeTiger

    OfficeTiger was founded in late 1999 with an innovative approach to global outsourcing. The company's employees, located primarily in India, provided services for corporations, investment banks, and professional services firms throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Although it was hard to sell the idea to customers initially, by 2004 the company had grown considerably and was preparing for future growth, mainly by making acquisitions.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Globalized Markets and Industries; Job Cuts and Outsourcing; Growth and Development Strategy; Service Operations; India;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Johanna Regine Naunton Blaxall. "OfficeTiger." Harvard Business School Case 804-109, April 2004. (Revised July 2007.) View Details
  31. Tropos Networks

    As Ron Sege, president and CEO of Tropos Networks, walked through the halls of the firm's offices, he realized that the space they had moved into only about a year ago was already becoming too small. The company, based in Sunnyvale, California, was founded in late 2000 to provide wireless broadband access. By 2005, the company was primarily focused on supplying metro-scale wireless fidelity (Wi Fi) mesh networking products and services. Tropos began shipping products in September 2003, and by December 2005 the company had over 300 customers and 60 resellers in 29 countries. Accordingly, the company's head count grew from 65 in 2004 to 103 in 2005 and was expected to reach 150 by the end of 2006.

    Keywords: Business Startups; Entrepreneurship; Growth Management; Wireless Technology; Sunnyvale;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Elizabeth Kind. "Tropos Networks." Harvard Business School Case 806-201, May 2006. (Revised July 2007.) View Details
  32. Pine Ridge Winery, LLC (A)

    George Scheppler, president and CEO of Pine Ridge Winery, LLC, (the "Company") sat in his office overlooking the steep hillside vineyards of the Pine Ridge Winery in Napa Valley. It was June 2005, and he was preparing for the upcoming board of managers meeting where he would discuss the Company's long-range plan with its owner, Leucadia National Corp. Leucadia, a well-respected diversified holding company, had 2004 revenues of $2.3 billion. The Company had 2004 revenues of $13.8 million from its two wineries: Pine Ridge Winery (Pine Ridge) in California and Archery Summit Winery (Archery Summit) in Oregon.

    Keywords: Governing and Advisory Boards; Brands and Branding; Product Positioning; Corporate Strategy; Napa Valley;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Lauren Barley. "Pine Ridge Winery, LLC (A)." Harvard Business School Case 806-060, November 2005. (Revised July 2007.) View Details
  33. Massive Incorporated (A)

    How do you go to market with a brand new product in a new industry? How does a business develop an opportunity and then adapt its strategy to ensure success? Who are the early adopters and how does a business work with them? Katherine Hays, chief operating office at Massive Inc., faced several options for guiding the development and launch of the Massive Ad Network. Massive had recognized that young males, ages 18 to 34, were becoming increasingly hard to reach through traditional means of advertising yet, at the same time, video game usage by this highly coveted market segment had skyrocketed and online game advertising provided a valuable revenue opportunity. To capitalize on the situation, Massive had built a product that enabled the dynamic delivery of advertising content into video games. Although the concept was simple, successful adoption of the new advertising medium required the enthusiastic buy-in from three distinct audiences: game publishers and developers, advertisers and their media buyer, and gamers. To be successful, Massive needed to continue to ask questions, experiment, and listen to each of these constituencies.

    Keywords: Emerging Markets; Product Launch; Online Advertising; Business Startups; Advertising Industry;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, Clark Gilbert, and Victoria Winston. "Massive Incorporated (A)." Harvard Business School Case 806-126, March 2006. (Revised February 2007.) View Details
  34. MarketSoft

    Greg Erman and Nancy Benovich-Gilby have assembled a team and selected a market for the launch of a high-potential venture based on using an Internet-based service to manage the flow of sales leads between principals and their distribution channel partners. Their development process is key.

    Keywords: Product Development; Planning; Sales; Management; Internet; Web Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Diana S. Gardner. "MarketSoft." Harvard Business School Case 800-069, September 1999. (Revised October 2006.) View Details
  35. Wildfire Communications,Inc. (A) and (B) (TN)

    Teaching Note for (9-396-305) and (9-396-306).

    Keywords: Business Startups; Performance Effectiveness; Business Processes; Technology Platform; Business Strategy; Markets;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and John T. Gourville. "Wildfire Communications,Inc. (A) and (B) (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 801-141, September 2000. (Revised October 2006.) View Details
  36. Juice Guys (A)

    The case explores who the customers are for a new beverage product, their desires as customers for this product, and their desires when ordering this product from a local specialty store location.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Product Launch; Product Positioning; Customer Relationship Management; Consumer Behavior; Commercialization; Customer Satisfaction; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, Sharon Lee Fox, and Cynthia Rushmore Kuechle. "Juice Guys (A)." Harvard Business School Case 800-122, September 1999. (Revised July 2006.) View Details
  37. Icebreaker: The US Entry Decision

    Jeremy Moon, CEO of Icebreaker, merino wool, outdoor apparel manufacturer, believed the company could be a big hit in the United States, despite the presence of entrenched rivals. But Icebreaker clearly needed a new distribution approach. One option was to position Icebreaker as a brand selling fashionable sportswear. A second option was to mirror the strategy that had been effective in New Zealand--distributing through outdoor and snow sports retailers. A final option was to delay U.S. retail distribution and sell exclusively over the Internet, using direct-to-customer advertising.

    Keywords: Market Entry and Exit; Distribution Channels; Product Launch; Product Development; Brands and Branding; Manufacturing Industry; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Retail Industry; New Zealand; United States;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Dan Heath. "Icebreaker: The US Entry Decision." Harvard Business School Case 806-006, July 2005. (Revised July 2006.) View Details
  38. Icebreaker: The China Entry Decision

    Jeremy Moon, CEO of Icebreaker, maker of merino-fiber activewear, thinks about the strengths and weaknesses of staying focused on his rapidly expanding U.S. and European markets vs. broadening his attack to include China. If he enters China, should he continue his current strategy of pushing the technical merits of the merino fabric, or should he go the inherently subjective fashion route, given that the technical apparel market in China is virtually nonexistent.

    Keywords: Brands and Branding; Product Positioning; Global Strategy; Expansion; Decision Choices and Conditions; Market Entry and Exit; Marketing Strategy; Apparel and Accessories Industry; China; United States; Europe;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Dan Heath. "Icebreaker: The China Entry Decision." Harvard Business School Case 806-195, May 2006. (Revised June 2006.) View Details
  39. Codon Devices

    In December 2005, 40-year-old John Danner was about to make his first presentation to the board of directors of Codon Devices, a one-year-old biotechnology start-up based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After a month as the company's CEO, Danner was prepared to lay out his strategic plan for the firm. The company was rapidly capturing share in the billion dollar DNA-synthesis market. Codon had several distinctive features for a company its size and age: it was already generating revenue from several different types of customer for its genetic products; it looked capable of revolutionizing the fragmented DNA-synthesis market; it received extraordinary support from its oversized Scientific Advisory Board; it had developed and secured a strong intellectual property portfolio that creates high barriers to entry for any new market entrants; and, it had $13 million of venture capital investment from Flagship Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Kleiner-Perkins, and others.

    Keywords: Strategic Planning; Venture Capital; Intellectual Property; Governing and Advisory Boards; Genetics; Competitive Advantage; Science-Based Business; Business Startups; Growth and Development Strategy; Biotechnology Industry; Cambridge;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and David Kiron. "Codon Devices." Harvard Business School Case 806-198, May 2006. (Revised June 2006.) View Details
  40. Millennial Net

    Millennial Net created self-organizing, ultra-low-power, wireless sensor networks, a space that was getting a lot of attention in 2004. The company was founded in 2000 and in early 2004 was looking for a second round of funding. The area had attracted a number of new ventures by impressive investors. What makes Millennial Net worth another round of backing?

    Keywords: Technology Networks; Technological Innovation; Entrepreneurship; Investment; Information Technology Industry; Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Johanna Regine Naunton Blaxall. "Millennial Net." Harvard Business School Case 804-173, June 2004. (Revised May 2006.) View Details
  41. Idea Village (A)

    Andy Khubani, the CEO of Idea Village, a company that markets to consumers via direct-response TV ads, must decide whether to launch a campaign touting a hair removal product for women. Explains the direct-response industry and contrasts its methodology with traditional consumer goods marketing.

    Keywords: Marketing Channels; Gender Characteristics; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Dan Heath. "Idea Village (A)." Harvard Business School Case 806-005, July 2005. (Revised April 2006.) View Details
  42. Business Plan for Room For Dessert: Adding Unique Ingredients to Life's Balancing Act

    Summarizes the business plan for a concept restaurant focused on late evening dessert service as well as its subsequent rollout plan.

    Keywords: Business Strategy; Planning; Business Plan; Outcome or Result; Service Operations; Experience and Expertise; Service Industry; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Michael J. Roberts. "Business Plan for Room For Dessert: Adding Unique Ingredients to Life's Balancing Act." Harvard Business School Case 899-008, August 1998. (Revised June 2013.) View Details
  43. Surface Logix

    Describes a start-up in the field of nano technology--very small physical structures measured in the billionths of a meter. The company, Surface Logix, has assembled a portfolio of intellectual property and completed some of the R&D work required to develop actual products. Now the company must decide what specific product applications to focus on and what resources are required for that effort.

    Keywords: Business Startups; Research and Development; Marketing Strategy; Product Marketing; Product Development; Intellectual Property; Investment Portfolio;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, Michael J. Roberts, and Kim Slack. "Surface Logix." Harvard Business School Case 802-050, August 2001. (Revised April 2005.) View Details
  44. Z Corporation

    Tom Clay, president of Z Corp., and founder/CEO Marina Hatsopolous must decide between using a direct sales force or using a value-added reseller to begin selling the company's new 3-D printing prototype manufacturing system.

    Keywords: Technological Innovation; Salesforce Management; Distribution Channels; Conflict and Resolution; Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, Matthew C. Lieb, and Tom Clay. "Z Corporation." Harvard Business School Case 801-210, October 2000. (Revised April 2005.) View Details
  45. RelayHealth

    RelayHealth provides secure, online communications for doctors, patients, and health plans. The company's services include online consultations, prescription renewals, and appointment scheduling. RelayHealth's business model derives subscription revenue from doctors and licensing fees from health plans. RelayHealth recently completed a successful pilot study and has been able to sign on a number of high-profile health plans and physician groups. The company is struggling with ways to spur growth and drive usage and adoption of its product among its three market segments: physicians, patients, and health plans.

    Keywords: Communication Technology; Online Technology; Consumer Behavior; Entrepreneurship; Health Care and Treatment; Growth and Development Strategy; Health Industry; Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Elizabeth Kind. "RelayHealth." Harvard Business School Case 805-021, July 2004. (Revised December 2004.) View Details
  46. StorageNetworks: Restarting a Public Company (A)

    Peter Bell, founder and CEO of StorageNetworks, faces the problem of "restarting" a public company by changing its business model from being a storage-services provider to being a storage software developer. The task seems challenging, but surely doable, with $200 million in available cash.

    Keywords: Business Model; Diversification; Change Management; Cash; Entrepreneurship; Problems and Challenges; Corporate Finance; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Todd H Thedinga. "StorageNetworks: Restarting a Public Company (A)." Harvard Business School Case 803-198, June 2003. (Revised October 2004.) View Details
  47. Entropia (A)

    The Entropia management team and a Harvard Business School field study team look for applications for "grid computing" in the financial services industry, identifying a "go-to-market" plan for this new technology.

    Keywords: Technology; Business Strategy; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, Sameer Ahuja, and Jason Tepperman. "Entropia (A)." Harvard Business School Case 802-227, June 2002. (Revised October 2004.) View Details
  48. Seeing What's on Red Auerbach's Mind

    Analysis of an interview with Red Auerbach, HBR No. 87201. Alan M. Webber, who conducted the interview, probed for the lessons that Auerbach has learned from a long and productive career coaching and managing the Boston Celtics, a professional basketball team in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The HBR article is used as a surrogate for a customer interview, providing the "raw data" for an analysis technique known as the trademarked Language Processing (LP) methodology, developed by professor Shoji Shiba of Tsukuba University and the member companies of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Center for Quality of Management. Includes color exhibits.

    Keywords: Markets; Research; Sports; Product Development; Communication Intention and Meaning; Sports Industry;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and John T. Gourville. "Seeing What's on Red Auerbach's Mind." Harvard Business School Background Note 804-160, March 2004. (Revised April 2004.) View Details
  49. Juice Guys (B)

    The case explores who the customers are for a new beverage product, their desires as customers for this product, and their desires when ordering this product from a local specialty store location.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Product Launch; Product Positioning; Customer Relationship Management; Consumer Behavior; Commercialization; Customer Satisfaction; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, Sharon Lee Fox, and Cynthia Rushmore Kuechle. "Juice Guys (B)." Harvard Business School Case 800-123, September 1999. (Revised February 2004.) View Details
  50. WebSpective Software, Inc. (A)

    Describes the situation at WebSpective, a software company that develops products to help companies manage the network of servers that support their Websites. Describes the use of "concept engineering" tools to interview customers, determine their needs and the resulting product requirements, and prioritize these requirements as the basis for a product and marketing strategy.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Management Practices and Processes; Customers; Customer Focus and Relationships; Communication Intention and Meaning; Product Development; Product Marketing; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Customer Satisfaction; Marketing Strategy; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Roberts, Michael J., Joseph B. Lassiter III, John T. Gourville, and Sun Ming Wong. "WebSpective Software, Inc. (A)." Harvard Business School Case 800-136, September 1999. (Revised February 2004.) View Details
  51. Orange Imagineering

    As a proven entrepreneur, Rich Miner has been successful in the start-up world. Now, following the acquisition of his start-up, he has established a corporate R&D/venture operation in America to serve as the "eyes and ears" of his European parent company, Orange Telecom. He has resources that he never imagined, but getting Orange's attention is very hard to do.

    Keywords: Corporate Entrepreneurship; Research and Development; Business Startups; Acquisition; Telecommunications Industry; United States; Europe;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Todd H Thedinga. "Orange Imagineering." Harvard Business School Case 804-048, October 2003. (Revised December 2003.) View Details
  52. Myteam.com

    Elliot Katzman is faced with the need to raise cash and cut spending to develop his online amateur sports software application, Myteam.com. Even with powerful allies such as Little League and Coca-Cola, "big deals with big players" had not kept the company from running out of cash. Katzman was determined to keep his dream alive.

    Keywords: Cash Flow; Financial Management; Leadership Style; Crisis Management; Resource Allocation; Alliances; Sports; Web Sites; Sports Industry; Web Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Gourville, John T., Joseph B. Lassiter III, and Taslim Pirmohamed. "Myteam.com." Harvard Business School Case 503-026, August 2002. (Revised February 2003.) View Details
  53. Bluefin Robotics

    Concentrates on the consequences of the choice of corporate partners on the growth alternatives available to a new company, in a new industry, based on a new technology.

    Keywords: Business Startups; Partners and Partnerships; Markets; Growth and Development Strategy; Technological Innovation;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and David Kiron. "Bluefin Robotics." Harvard Business School Case 802-005, October 2001. (Revised March 2002.) View Details
  54. Boston Beer Company: Light Beer Decision

    Boston Beer's current light-beer offering, Boston Lightship, has not been successful, and a student team is charged with investigating the problem and recommending a strategy. Highlights issues around branding, target customer selection, and cannibalization, and introduces the ZMET. Includes color exhibits.

    Keywords: Problems and Challenges; Brands and Branding; Customers; Growth and Development Strategy; Marketing Strategy; Entrepreneurship; Food and Beverage Industry; Boston;

    Citation:

    Cyr, Linda A., Joseph B. Lassiter III, and Michael J. Roberts. "Boston Beer Company: Light Beer Decision." Harvard Business School Case 899-058, October 1998. (Revised November 2001.) View Details
  55. Sycamore Networks

    Founders Desh Deshpande and Dan Smith reflect on Sycamore's sales strategies and consider how going public might affect the morale of its key employees. In the optical networking sector, technological change and exploding demand has created a market for talent in which many capable employees strike out on their own to found new competitors--taking their important sales relationships with them. Sycamore needed to learn how it could continue to attract--and retain--the brightest in the business.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Sales; Business Strategy; Initial Public Offering; Retention; Employees; Communication Technology; Applied Optics; Technological Innovation; Communications Industry; Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Daniel J. Green. "Sycamore Networks." Harvard Business School Case 801-076, July 2000. (Revised July 2001.) View Details
  56. Finale

    Designed for use with "Room for Dessert" to show the changes between creating the initial business plans and starting to serve customers. Conforti and Moore have to both manage the business and deliver service to customers on a day-to-day basis in the initial location of what will, they hope, be a chain.

    Keywords: Service Delivery; Business Plan; Entrepreneurship; Customer Satisfaction;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, Michael J. Roberts, and Matthew C. Lieb. "Finale." Harvard Business School Case 899-100, January 1999. (Revised December 2000.) View Details
  57. Nantucket Nectars

    The founders of Nantucket Nectars are trying to decide whether to sell their company. The case describes how the founders started the company and grew the Nantucket Nectars brand name.

    Keywords: Business Exit or Shutdown; Entrepreneurship; Brands and Branding; Food and Beverage Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, William A. Sahlman, and Jon Biotti. "Nantucket Nectars." Harvard Business School Case 898-171, February 1998. (Revised December 2000.) View Details
  58. Siebel Systems (A)

    The case describes the early evolution of Siebel Systems, a sales force automation software company, focusing on issues surrounding Siebel's use of systems integrators as implementation partners and the relationship between implementation and the selling function.

    Keywords: Marketing; Software; Entrepreneurship; Business Startups; Sales; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Roberts, Michael J., Joseph B. Lassiter III, and Nicole Tempest. "Siebel Systems (A)." Harvard Business School Case 898-210, March 1998. (Revised December 2000.) View Details
  59. Roadside Attractions LLC

    Eric d'Arbeloff, producer of independent films, must decide between two offers for distribution of his new movie, "Trick." The case tracks the assembly of resources and the effects of technological change in the film business.

    Keywords: Disruptive Innovation; Decision Choices and Conditions; Distribution; Technological Innovation; Change Management; Entrepreneurship; Film Entertainment; Entertainment and Recreation Industry;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, John T. Gourville, and Nicole Tempest. "Roadside Attractions LLC." Harvard Business School Case 800-015, September 1999. (Revised August 2000.) View Details
  60. InPart

    Stacey Lawson, HBS 1996, started a CAD parts representations database company to help designers and engineers with the design process. The company has completed its product and is starting to sell it. The case examines issues involving the organization of the sales force and the pricing of the product.

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Price; Salesforce Management;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, Michael J. Roberts, and Jon Biotti. "InPart." Harvard Business School Case 898-213, March 1998. (Revised July 2000.) View Details
  61. Steinway & Sons: Buying a Legend (A)

    It is 1995 and Steinway & Sons has just been purchased by two young entrepreneurs. For 140 years, Steinway has held the reputation for making the finest quality grand pianos in the world. The past 25 years have proven to be a challenge, however. First, the company has changed hands several times and product quality has become a concern. Second, the worldwide market for pianos has been in a steady decline, and competition for high-end grand pianos has increased. Finally in 1992, Steinway took the questionable steps of introducing a mid-priced line of grand pianos under the brand name "Boston." Designed by Steinway, but manufactured by a Japanese piano maker, the Boston line represented a major shift in strategy for the company. Within this context, what do two young entrepreneurs (with little or no experience in the piano industry) hope to accomplish in buying Steinway? In particular, what value do they bring to the company and what decisions should they make?

    Keywords: Business Startups; Decisions; Entrepreneurship; Globalization; Crisis Management; Brands and Branding; Marketing Strategy; Quality; Competitive Strategy; Manufacturing Industry; Japan; New York (state, US);

    Citation:

    Gourville, John T., and Joseph B. Lassiter III. "Steinway & Sons: Buying a Legend (A)." Harvard Business School Case 500-028, October 1999. (Revised February 2000.) View Details
  62. ZEFER: Building a Business at Hyperspeed

    In the past 18 months, ZEFER has gone from a several-person Internet consulting firm to a major player in the information-technology services industry. In particular, in the past six months, it has grown from 40 to 400 professionals, has hired a seasoned management team, has received $100 million in venture capital funding, and has acquired three companies. Is such explosive growth necessary? If so, how can it be managed to ensure a healthy and consistent corporate culture? Finally, how should the founding partners of the firm think about their roles in the evolving company?

    Keywords: Growth and Development; Recruitment; Venture Capital; Acquisition; Organizational Culture; Managerial Roles; Growth Management; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Gourville, John T., and Joseph B. Lassiter III. "ZEFER: Building a Business at Hyperspeed." Harvard Business School Case 500-032, October 1999. View Details
  63. DigitalThink: Building a Sales Force

    A broad set of issues faces a young company in the Internet-based training business as it begins to sell its product to corporate customers. Issues include: profile of attractive candidates, compensation, definition of territory, definition of quotas, and role of regional management.

    Keywords: Internet; Salesforce Management; Business Startups; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Roberts, Michael J., Joseph B. Lassiter III, and Christina L. Darwall. "DigitalThink: Building a Sales Force." Harvard Business School Case 898-193, March 1998. (Revised June 1999.) View Details
  64. Teradyne, Inc.: Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

    Alexander d'Arbeloff, Teradyne's founder and CEO, is launching his company into the software and network testing business. He has acquired three external start-ups and is beginning to integrate them with the rest of the company. While Teradyne's core business--semiconductor testing--is doing extremely well, it has been nearly 25 years since Teradyne has started a new business that has proven to be successful.

    Keywords: Acquisition; Business Startups; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Leadership Style; Success; Horizontal Integration;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III. "Teradyne, Inc.: Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained." Harvard Business School Case 898-190, February 1998. (Revised August 1998.) View Details

    Research Summary

  1. Innovation & Entrepreneurship: Learning from High-Potential Ventures

    I study high-potential ventures. Typically, these are professionally financed start-ups and buyouts in technology and consumer markets. My work is currently focused on the newly emerging energy and cleantech businesses. 

    For the purposes of my research, a high-potential venture is defined as one having the objective of building at least $50 million per year of new product sales in five or fewer years. I study the high-potential setting because business problems and opportunities tend to stand out clearly under the stresses of such an environment. These problems and opportunities are highlighted in the conflicts between the expectations of employees and investors, as management confronts the constraints of time, cash flow, and financing. I focus on technology and consumer products because these tend to have relatively short, intense lifecycles, allowing the results obtained and the methods used by the managers to be observed before the evidence is either lost or forgotten. To date, I have written some 75 business cases and have supervised more than 500 student team projects to probe this population, extracting observations about what managers really did while managing ventures in a high-potential setting.

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