Thomas R. Eisenmann

Howard H. Stevenson Professor of Business Administration

Thomas R. Eisenmann is the Howard H. Stevenson Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and Faculty Co-Chair of the HBS Rock Center for Entrepreneurship. He studies the management of new ventures. Eisenmann teaches two MBA elective courses: Launching Technology Ventures, which examines challenges that entrepreneurs encounter when starting and scaling new information technology businesses, and Product Management 101, in which students specify and supervise development of a software application. He also is faculty co-leader of a Harvard Innovation Lab course, Cultural Entrepreneurship in New York City, in which students from across Harvard spend a winter break week in New York exploring new ventures in fashion, food, and fine arts. In recent years, Eisenmann has served as Chair of Harvard's MBA Elective Curriculum—the second year of the MBA Program—and as course head of The Entrepreneurial Manager, taught to all 900 first-year MBA students. He also co-led four winter break trips to Silicon Valley, and created Managing Networked Business (now called The Online Economy), an MBA elective that examines strategies for platform-based businesses that leverage network effects.

Professor Eisenmann received his Doctorate in Business Administration ('98), MBA ('83), and BA ('79) from Harvard University. Prior to entering the HBS Doctoral Program, Eisenmann spent eleven years as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he was co-head of the Media and Entertainment Practice. Eisenmann is on the editorial board of Strategic Management Journal. He currently serves as a director on the boards of Harvard Business Publishing and Harvard Student Agencies, the world’s largest student-run corporation.

Blogs: Platforms & Networks, Launching Tech Ventures (course blog with student posts)

Twitter: @teisenmann

Books

  1. Managing Startups: Best Blog Posts

    Harvard Business School Professor Tom Eisenmann annually compiles the best posts from many blogs on technology startup management, primarily for the benefit of his students. This book makes his latest collection available to the broader entrepreneur community. Divided into 13 areas of focus, the book's contributors explore the metrics you need to run your startup, discuss lean prototyping techniques for hardware, identify costly outsourcing mistakes, provide practical tips on user acquisition, offer branding guidelines, and explain how a choir of angel investors often will sing different parts.

    Keywords: lean startup; Startup; prototyping; MVP; minimum viable product; freemium; SaaS; A/B Testing; Business Model;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Tom, ed. Managing Startups: Best Blog Posts. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media, Inc., 2013.
  2. Internet Business Models: Text and Cases

    Keywords: Business Model; Internet;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., ed. Internet Business Models: Text and Cases. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2001.

Journal Articles

  1. Platform Envelopment

    Due to network effects and switching costs in platform markets, entrants generally must offer revolutionary functionality. We explore a second entry path that does not rely upon Schumpeterian innovation: platform envelopment. Through envelopment, a provider in one platform market can enter another platform market, combining its own functionality with the target's in a multi-platform bundle that leverages shared user relationships. We build upon the traditional view of bundling for economies of scope and price discrimination and extend this view to include the strategic management of a firm's user network. Envelopers capture share by foreclosing an incumbent's access to users; in doing so, they harness the network effects that previously had protected the incumbent. We present a typology of envelopment attacks based on whether platform pairs are complements, weak substitutes, or functionally unrelated, and we analyze conditions under which these attack types are likely to succeed.

    Keywords: Market Platforms; Multi-Sided Platforms; Two-Sided Platforms; Business and Stakeholder Relations; Economic Systems; Development Economics; Business or Company Management; Business Strategy; Network Effects; Online Technology; Information Technology Industry; Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., Geoffrey Parker, and Marshall Van Alstyne. "Platform Envelopment." Strategic Management Journal 32, no. 12 (December 2011): 1270–1285.
  2. Review of "Blue Skies: A History of Cable Television

    Keywords: History; Media; Media and Broadcasting Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. Review of "Blue Skies: A History of Cable Television." Business History Review 83, no. 2 (summer 2009).
  3. Managing Proprietary and Shared Platforms

    In a platform-mediated network, users rely on a common platform, provided by one or more intermediaries, that encompasses infrastructure and rules required by users to transact with each other. A fundamental design decision for firms that aspire to develop platform-mediated networks is whether to preserve proprietary control or share their platform with rivals. A proprietary platform has a single provider that solely controls its technology, for example, Federal Express, Apple Macintosh, or Google. With a shared platform, such as Visa, DVD, or Linux, multiple firms collaborate in developing the platform's technology then compete in offering users differentiated but compatible versions of the platform. This article examines factors that favor proprietary versus shared models when designing new platforms, then explains how management challenges differ for proprietary and shared platform during network mobilization.

    Keywords: Governance Controls; Market Platforms; Infrastructure; Competition; Cooperation; Technology Networks;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Managing Proprietary and Shared Platforms." California Management Review 50, no. 4 (summer 2008).
  4. Internet Companies' Growth Strategies: Determinants of Investment Intensity and Long-Term Performance

    Keywords: Internet; Performance; Investment; Growth and Development Strategy; Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, T. R. "Internet Companies' Growth Strategies: Determinants of Investment Intensity and Long-Term Performance." Strategic Management Journal 27, no. 12 (December 2006): 1183–1204.
  5. Strategies for Two-Sided Markets

    Keywords: Strategy; Two-Sided Platforms;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, T. R., G. Parker, and M. van Alstyne. "Strategies for Two-Sided Markets." Harvard Business Review 84, no. 10 (October 2006).
  6. The Effects of CEO Equity Ownership and Diversification on Risk Taking

    Keywords: Risk Management; Diversification; Ownership; Equity;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "The Effects of CEO Equity Ownership and Diversification on Risk Taking." Strategic Management Journal 23, no. 6 (June 2002): 513–534.
  7. The Entrepreneurial M-Form: Strategic Integration in Global Media Firms

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Strategy; Integration; Global Range; Business Ventures; Media; Media and Broadcasting Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, T. R., and J. L. Bower. "The Entrepreneurial M-Form: Strategic Integration in Global Media Firms." Organization Science 11, no. 3 (May–June 2000): 348–355.
  8. The U.S. Cable Television Industry, 1948-1995: Managerial Capitalism in Eclipse

    Keywords: Management Systems; Television Entertainment; Media and Broadcasting Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, T. R. "The U.S. Cable Television Industry, 1948-1995: Managerial Capitalism in Eclipse." Business History Review (spring 2000).
  9. Governance and Risk Taking in the U.S. Cable Television Industry

    Keywords: Governance; Risk and Uncertainty; Television Entertainment; Media and Broadcasting Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, T. R. "Governance and Risk Taking in the U.S. Cable Television Industry." Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings (1998).
  10. Navigating the Multimedia Landscape

    Citation:

    Hagel, J., III, and T. R. Eisenmann. "Navigating the Multimedia Landscape." McKinsey Quarterly 3 (1994): 39–55.

Book Chapters

  1. Opening Platforms: When, How and Why?

    Platform-mediated networks encompass several distinct types of participants, including end users, complementors, platform providers who facilitate users' access to complements, and sponsors who develop platform technologies. Each of these roles can be opened-that is, structured to encourage participation-or closed. This paper reviews factors that motivate decisions to open or close mature platforms. At the platform provider and sponsor levels, these decisions entail 1) interoperating with established rival platforms, 2) licensing additional platform providers, or 3) broadening sponsorship. With respect to end users and complementors, decisions to open or close a mature platform involve 1) backward compatibility with prior platform generations, 2) securing exclusive rights to certain complements, or 3) absorbing complements into the core platform. Over time, forces tend to push both proprietary and shared platforms toward hybrid governance models characterized by centralized control over platform technology (i.e., closed sponsorship) and shared responsibility for serving users (i.e., an open provider role).

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Governance Controls; Market Participation; Market Platforms; Technology Platform;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., Geoffrey Parker, and Marshall Van Alstyne. "Opening Platforms: When, How and Why?" Chap. 6 in Platforms, Markets and Innovation. Paperback ed. Edited by Annabelle Gawer. Cheltenham, U.K. and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009, Paperback.
  2. Corporate Intervention in Resource Allocation

    Keywords: Resource Allocation; Corporate Strategy;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, T. R. "Corporate Intervention in Resource Allocation." Chap. 12 in From Resource Allocation to Strategy, edited by Joseph L. Bower and Clark Gilbert. U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2005.
  3. The Entrepreneurial M-Form: A Case Study of Strategic Integration in a Global Media Company

    Keywords: Corporate Entrepreneurship; Integration; Globalized Firms and Management; Media; Media and Broadcasting Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Joseph L. Bower. "The Entrepreneurial M-Form: A Case Study of Strategic Integration in a Global Media Company." Chap. 13 in From Resource Allocation to Strategy, edited by Joseph L. Bower and Clark Gilbert. U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2005.
  4. Valuation Bubbles and Broadband Deployment

    Keywords: Valuation; Price Bubble; Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Valuation Bubbles and Broadband Deployment." Chap. 4 in The Broadband Explosion, edited by Robert D. Austin and Stephen P. Bradley. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2005.

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Chegg, Inc.: Building the Student Hub

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Allison M. Ciechanover. "Chegg, Inc.: Building the Student Hub." Harvard Business School Case 814-035, February 2014. (Revised April 2014.)
  2. Steven Carpenter at Cake Financial (Abridged)

    Steven Carpenter reflects on the successes and failures of his recent venture, Cake Financial. Carpenter had just sold the four-year-old startup and was at work on a new business plan. But first, he wanted to understand why Cake Financial, a service that allowed users to access their brokerage accounts on one platform and also see how other users were investing, had not been widely adopted by customers despite positive receptions from technology and financial observers. The startup had also received financial support from prominent angel investors. Carpenter asked himself what he should have done differently with the technology supporting the platform, and how Cake should have better targeted customers and responded to their unique needs. He also wondered whether he had made the right decisions about when, and from whom, to seek funding at various stages of the company's growth.

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

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., Joseph B. Fuller, and Shikhar Ghosh. "Steven Carpenter at Cake Financial (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 814-054, January 2014.
  3. Andreessen Horowitz

    Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), a venture capital firm launched in 2009, has quickly broken into the VC industry's top ranks, in terms of its ability to invest in Silicon Valley's most promising startups. The case recounts the firm's history; describes its co-founders' motivations and their strategy for disrupting an industry in the midst of dramatic structural change; and asks whether a16z's success to date has been due to its novel organization structure. a16z's 22 investment professionals are supported by 43 recruiting and marketing specialists—an "operating team" that is an order of magnitude larger than that of any other VC firm. Furthermore, the operating team aims to not only assist a16z portfolio companies, but also to be broadly helpful to all parties in the Silicon Valley ecosystem, including search firms, journalists, PR agencies, and Fortune 500 executives. The bet: by providing "no-strings-attached" help to ecosystem partners, the partners might someday reciprocate by steering founders seeking funding to a16z. The case closes by asking whether a16z should seek to double its scale over the next years.

    Keywords: Financial Services Industry; California;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Liz Kind. "Andreessen Horowitz." Harvard Business School Case 814-060, January 2014.
  4. Keurig and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

    Keywords: Negotiation; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Aldo Sesia. "Keurig and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters." Harvard Business School Teaching Plan 814-018, August 2013.
  5. CloudFlare, Inc.: Running Hot?

    In July 2012, the cofounders of CloudFlare, a Silicon Valley startup that protects websites and accelerates their traffic, are considering the implications of five employees' resignations over the prior three months. Was this natural attrition for a high-tech venture with a staff of 35 experiencing explosive growth, or were the resignations symptomatic of bigger issues with CloudFlare's culture and management processes? After describing CloudFlare's early history, business model, organization structure, and human resources policies, the case presents first-person accounts from employees regarding their reasons for resigning, and then asks whether CloudFlare's cofounders should take any corrective actions.

    Keywords: Management Practices and Processes; Employee Relationship Management; Organizational Structure; Organizational Culture; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Growth Management; Web Sites; Entrepreneurship; Resignation and Termination; Business Startups; Information Technology Industry; Web Services Industry; California;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Alex Godden. "CloudFlare, Inc.: Running Hot?" Harvard Business School Case 813-145, January 2013. (Revised March 2013.)
  6. MuMaté (B-2): Confidential for Cantor

    MuMaté, a fictional cult beverage company, requires capital to fund national expansion. Its cofounders, who have bootstrapped to this point, are now negotiating with venture capital firms to raise a $3 million funding round. The case describes MuMaté's inception, early history, business model, and factors that have fueled its rapid recent growth. As the case ends, the cofounders are debating whether to raise funds from VCs, angels, or asset-based lenders. The cofounders share their concerns about valuation and whether investors will seek to change the company's strategy and organizational culture.

    Keywords: negotiation; Venture Capital; Expansion; Negotiation; Valuation; Entrepreneurship; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Alex Godden. "MuMaté (B-2): Confidential for Cantor." Harvard Business School Supplement 813-150, January 2013. (Revised March 2013.)
  7. MuMaté (B-1): Confidential for Maxwell

    MuMaté, a fictional cult beverage company, requires capital to fund national expansion. Its cofounders, who have bootstrapped to this point, are now negotiating with venture capital firms to raise a $3 million funding round. The case describes MuMaté's inception, early history, business model, and factors that have fueled its rapid recent growth. As the case ends, the cofounders are debating whether to raise funds from VCs, angels, or asset-based lenders. The cofounders share their concerns about valuation and whether investors will seek to change the company's strategy and organizational culture.

    Keywords: negotiation; Venture Capital; Expansion; Negotiation; Valuation; Entrepreneurship; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Alex Godden. "MuMaté (B-1): Confidential for Maxwell." Harvard Business School Supplement 813-149, January 2013. (Revised March 2013.)
  8. MuMaté

    MuMaté, a fictional cult beverage company, requires capital to fund national expansion. Its cofounders, who have bootstrapped to this point, are now negotiating with venture capital firms to raise a $3 million funding round. The case describes MuMaté's inception, early history, business model, and factors that have fueled its rapid recent growth. As the case ends, the cofounders are debating whether to raise funds from VCs, angels, or asset-based lenders. The cofounders share their concerns about valuation and whether investors will seek to change the company's strategy and organizational culture.

    Keywords: negotiation; Venture Capital; Growth Management; Negotiation; Expansion; Valuation; Entrepreneurship; Organizational Culture; Business Startups; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas, and Alex Godden. "MuMaté." Harvard Business School Case 813-085, January 2013.
  9. Edison Schools, Inc.

    Edison Schools, Inc., a pioneer in the for-profit management of public schools, demonstrates the challenges and opportunities related to private sector involvement in the delivery of a public good. Follows the organization from its start-up through its initial public offering and, eventually, through its decision to execute a management buy-out to exit the public market. Explores at the corporate level the tension between Edison's effort to generate profits while achieving excellent educational outcomes.

    Keywords: charter schools; Conflict of Interests; Initial Public Offering; For-Profit Firms; Market Entry and Exit; Education; Business Startups; Education Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Lauren Barley. "Edison Schools, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 813-113, November 2012.
  10. Lit Motors

    In mid-2012 Lit Motors had created both engineering and design prototypes and conducted initial customer tests on less than $750,000 of investment. Lit Motors' founder, Daniel Kim, had started the company to design and manufacture an efficient electric 2-wheeled vehicle. The company had refined the designs for the key technologies required and had a working prototype, an understanding of the manufacturing processes to be used and a list of the components required. They also had a design prototype that they had used to conduct customer tests and establish reactions to pricing levels. At this point, management was aiming to raise $15M to get closer to manufacturing prototypes, but had they sufficiently proved out both the manufacturing feasibility and the market demand? How could they address the next hurdles in terms of partnership building, supply chain management and go-to-market strategy?

    Keywords: lean startup; prototyping; electric vehicle; urban vehicle; customer tests; gyroscope; entrepreneurs; development stage enterprises; creativity; Disruptive Technologies; consumer surveys; Market segmentation; manufacturing costs; Entrepreneurship; Auto Industry; United States; California;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Alex Godden. "Lit Motors." Harvard Business School Case 813-079, December 2012.
  11. Intuit Inc.: Project AgriNova

    In late 2008, a team from Intuit's office in Bangalore, India, is evaluating an opportunity to launch a new venture that would use SMS to deliver crop price information to farmers in India. The case describes the structure of Indian agriculture and the problems experienced by farmers, who were often exploited by middlemen who entered into obtuse private arrangements with wholesale buyers. After five weeks of research, the team concludes that the opportunity warrants further exploration. The question is, what should they do next?

    Keywords: entrepreneurship; corporate venturing; Entrepreneurship; Research; Business Ventures; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Information Technology Industry; Bangalore;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas, and Tanya Bijlani. "Intuit Inc.: Project AgriNova." Harvard Business School Case 813-062, August 2012.
  12. foursquare (TP)

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "foursquare (TP)." Harvard Business School Teaching Plan 813-010, July 2012.
  13. Dropbox: 'It Just Works' (TP)

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Dropbox: 'It Just Works' (TP) ." Harvard Business School Teaching Plan 813-007, July 2012.
  14. Rent the Runway (TP)

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Rent the Runway (TP)." Harvard Business School Teaching Plan 813-008, September 2012.
  15. People Express Airlines

    Recounts the history of People Express Airlines, which grew rapidly after its inception in 1980 then failed spectacularly in 1986. Profiles People's aggressive strategy and its distinctive approach to human resource management, which emphasized job rotation and minimal hierarchy.

    Keywords: Strategy; Air Transportation; Business Exit or Shutdown; Business Growth and Maturation; Organizational Structure; Entrepreneurship; Failure; Human Resources; Business Startups; Air Transportation Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Lauren Barley. "People Express Airlines." Harvard Business School Case 812-134, April 2012.
  16. Customer Discovery and Validation for Entrepreneurs

    Provides practical guidelines for conducting market research to explore and validate demand for entrepreneurial offering. Explains how the research objectives of entrepreneurs might differ from those relevant to managers evaluating product or service offerings to established markets. For each of several research techniques, specifies conditions under which the technique is most likely to yield valuable insights; describes how the technique should be adapted for use in an entrepreneurial context; and offers tips and cautions about applying the technique. The techniques include customer surveys, usability tests, market trials, split tests, and Net Promoter Score. Appendices discuss the use of focus groups and conjoint analysis in an entrepreneurial context. The Note is therefore suitable for use in MBA, Executive Education, Field Study, or project contexts where the focus is startups, new business development, product development, or innovation.

    Keywords: Customer Value and Value Chain; Entrepreneurship;

    Citation:

    Cespedes, Frank V., Thomas Eisenmann, and Steven G. Blank. "Customer Discovery and Validation for Entrepreneurs." Harvard Business School Background Note 812-097, November 2011. (Revised August 2012.)
  17. Business Model Analysis for Entrepreneurs

    Keywords: Business Model;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas. "Business Model Analysis for Entrepreneurs." Harvard Business School Background Note 812-096, December 2011. (Revised April 2012.)
  18. Hypothesis-Driven Entrepreneurship: The Lean Startup

    Firms that follow a hypothesis-driven approach to evaluating entrepreneurial opportunity are called "lean startups." Entrepreneurs in these startups translate their vision into falsifiable business model hypotheses, then test the hypotheses using a series of "minimum viable products," each of which represents the smallest set of features/activities needed to rigorously validate a concept. Based on test feedback, entrepreneurs must then decide whether to persevere with their business model, "pivot" by changing some model elements, or abandon the startup. This note describes, step-by-step, how to follow the hypothesis-driven approach when evaluating entrepreneurial opportunity; explains how the approach mitigates cognitive biases that otherwise can contribute to poor decisions; and considers conditions that are best suited for lean startup methods.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Business Startups;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas, Eric Ries, and Sarah Dillard. "Hypothesis-Driven Entrepreneurship: The Lean Startup." Harvard Business School Background Note 812-095, December 2011. (Revised July 2013.)
  19. Scaling a Startup: People and Organizational Issues

    Keywords: Business Startups;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas, and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld. "Scaling a Startup: People and Organizational Issues." Harvard Business School Background Note 812-100, January 2012. (Revised February 2012.)
  20. Dropbox: 'It Just Works'

    Dropbox is a venture-backed Silicon Valley startup, founded in 2006, that provides online storage and backup services to millions of customers using a "freemium" (free + premium offers) business model. The case recounts Dropbox's history from conception through mid-2010, when founder/CEO Drew Houston must make strategic decisions about new product features, how to target enterprise customers, and whether to pursue distribution deals with smartphone manufacturers.

    Keywords: Business Model; Growth and Development Strategy; Management Practices and Processes; Distribution; Product Design; Product Development; Internet; Service Industry; California;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., Michael Pao, and Lauren Barley. "Dropbox: 'It Just Works'." Harvard Business School Case 811-065, January 2011. (Revised January 2012.)
  21. The Business Development Manager

    Describes the role of business development (BD) managers in technology companies, detailing: 1) BD managers' key responsibilities at each step in the process of creating a partnership agreement; 2) how the nature of the BD function evolves as a technology startup matures; and 3) the attributes of effective BD managers.

    Keywords: entrepreneurship; partnerships; High technology products; Technology; Business or Company Management; Partners and Partnerships; Management Skills; Business Startups; Growth and Development Strategy; Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Bussgang, Jeffrey J., Thomas R. Eisenmann, Sarah Dillard, Katharine Nevins, and Puja Ramani. "The Business Development Manager." Harvard Business School Background Note 812-107, December 2011. (Revised March 2013.)
  22. The Product Manager

    Describes the role of product manager (PM) in technology companies, detailing 1) PMs' responsibilities; 2) different ways to organize the product management function; 3) how PMs interact with other functions within technology companies (e.g., engineering, product marketing); 4) how the nature of the PM role varies depending on context (e.g., early- vs. late-stage startups, business- vs. engineering-driven cultures); and 5) the attributes of effective PMs.

    Keywords: Product Marketing; Product Development; Product Design;

    Citation:

    Bussgang, Jeffrey, Thomas Eisenmann, and Robert Go. "The Product Manager." Harvard Business School Background Note 812-105, December 2011. (Revised March 2013.)
  23. Keurig and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

    Provides background information for a negotiations exercise in which students will represent either Keurig, a startup that has developed an innovative "portion pack" coffee brewing solution, or Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR), a fast-growing premium coffee roaster interested in licensing Keurig's technology. The negotiation will determine the royalty to be paid to Keurig by GMCR, which will bear capital expenditures, and whether GMCR secures exclusive distribution rights to Keurig's system.

    Keywords: Negotiation; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Marshall, Paul W., Thomas R. Eisenmann, Shikhar Ghosh, and Lauren Barley. "Keurig and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters." Harvard Business School Case 812-101, December 2011.
  24. Keurig: Confidential Information for Negotiation with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

    Case provides confidential information for students assuming the role of senior executives of Keurig, a startup that has developed an innovative "portion pack" coffee brewing solution, in a negotiation to license technology to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR). The negotiation will determine the royalty to be paid to Keurig by GMCR, which will bear capital expenditures, and determine whether GMCR secures exclusive distribution rights to Keurig's system.

    Keywords: Negotiation; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., Shikhar Ghosh, and James K. Sebenius. "Keurig: Confidential Information for Negotiation with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters." Harvard Business School Case 812-102, December 2011.
  25. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters: Confidential Information for Negotiation with Keurig

    Case provides confidential information for students assuming the role of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) senior executives in a negotiation to license technology from Keurig, a startup that has developed an innovative "portion pack" coffee brewing solution. The negotiation will determine the royalty to be paid to Keurig by GMCR, which will bear capital expenditures, and determine whether GMCR secures exclusive distribution rights to Keurig's system.

    Keywords: Negotiation; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., Shikhar Ghosh, and James K. Sebenius. "Green Mountain Coffee Roasters: Confidential Information for Negotiation with Keurig." Harvard Business School Case 812-103, December 2011.
  26. Scaling a Startup: Pacing Issues

    Keywords: Business Startups;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas. "Scaling a Startup: Pacing Issues." Harvard Business School Background Note 812-099, November 2011.
  27. Rent the Runway

    Two months after a successful launch in November 2009, the cofounders of Rent the Runway (RTR), a website that rented designer dresses, are debating whether to grow their startup at a measured pace and focus on improving operational effectiveness, or raise a new round of venture capital sooner than originally planned. Raising more venture capital would allow RTR to aggressively expand its inventory and customer acquisition efforts, in order to serve a broader range of customer segments with a wider selection of products, (e.g., accessories, maternity wear).

    Keywords: lean startup; electronic commerce; fashion; Expansion; Business Startups; Growth and Development Strategy; Fashion Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Laura Winig. "Rent the Runway." Harvard Business School Case 812-077, November 2011. (Revised December 2012.)
  28. foursquare

    Co-founders of foursquare are deciding how to respond to competitive threats and scale up the organization. Foursquare was a location-based online service that allowed users to "check in" to a location using an application on a smartphone. Foursquare kept track of a user's check-ins, shared them with users' friends, and unlocked "Specials" that gave users discounts at nearby locations. Within a year and a half of its founding the company had 45 employees and over 5 million users and was valued in excess of $100 million. However, many competitors, including Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp, developed competitive services requiring foursquare to respond.      

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Online Technology; Mobile Technology; Competitive Advantage; Web Services Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, Thomas R. Eisenmann, Jeffrey J. Bussgang, and David Chen. "foursquare." Harvard Business School Case 711-418, January 2010. (Revised March 2013.)
  29. Facebook

    As Facebook topped one billion monthly users in October 2012, the online social network continued to face questions about how best to monetize its surging traffic. The company could invest further in new advertising products, which represented the majority of the revenue thus far, or concentrate on the Facebook Platform and help third-party developers create and distribute their own applications. After a highly anticipated yet largely disappointing initial public offering (IPO), Facebook's stock price steadily declined. It became critical for the Facebook team to identify sustainable growth opportunities, particularly as more of its user base accessed the site via mobile devices.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Profit; Open Source Distribution; Social and Collaborative Networks; Competition; Competitive Strategy; Online Technology; Technology Platform; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, Thomas R. Eisenmann, Aaron Smith, David Chen, and Brian Feinstein. "Facebook." Harvard Business School Case 808-128, March 2008. (Revised March 2014.) (More Info.)
  30. Google Inc.

    Describes Google's history, business model, governance structure, corporate culture, and processes for managing innovation. Reviews Google's recent strategic initiatives and the threats they pose to Yahoo, Microsoft, and others. Asks what Google should do next. One option is to stay focused on the company's core competence, i.e., developing superior search solutions and monetizing them through targeted advertising. Another option is to branch into new arenas, for example, build Google into a portal like Yahoo or MSN; extend Google's role in e-commerce beyond search, to encompass a more active role as an intermediary (like eBay) facilitating transactions; or challenge Microsoft's position on the PC desktop by developing software to compete with Office and Windows.

    Keywords: Online Advertising; Business Model; Growth and Development Strategy; Network Effects; Mission and Purpose; Expansion; Search Technology; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Thomas R. Eisenmann. "Google Inc." Harvard Business School Case 910-036, January 2010. (Revised April 2011.) (Winner of ECCH 2011 Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method - Strategy and General Management.)
  31. Predictive Biosciences

    A small cancer diagnostics start-up is deciding whether to acquire a laboratory to make and sell its bladder cancer test or build its own manufacturing and sales team.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Factories, Labs, and Plants; Business Startups; Entrepreneurship; Health Testing and Trials; Growth and Development Strategy; Product Development; Biotechnology Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., Jeffrey J. Bussgang, and David Kiron. "Predictive Biosciences." Harvard Business School Case 811-015, January 2011. (Revised March 2011.)
  32. Chegg: Textbook Rental Takes Flight

    In late 2010, Silicon Valley-based Chegg, the leading online college textbook rental company, is scaling rapidly. The case recounts Chegg's history from its origins as a distant competitor to Craigslist in college classified listings through a pivot into textbook rental followed by a period of explosive growth. Resulting challenges in scaling warehouse operations, customer service, and information technology are described, along with efforts to professionalize sourcing/pricing and product management functions. The case closes with questions about how Chegg should respond to the pending transition from printed textbooks to electronic textbooks.

    Keywords: Change Management; Higher Education; Entrepreneurship; Books; Growth and Development Strategy; Growth Management; Service Operations; Renting or Rental; Online Technology; Education Industry; Service Industry; California;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., William A. Sahlman, and Evan W. Richardson. "Chegg: Textbook Rental Takes Flight." Harvard Business School Case 811-077, February 2011.
  33. Product Development at OPOWER

    OPOWER, a software startup that helps utilities engage their customers in ways that reduce energy consumption, is scaling rapidly. The company's new head of product management has designed a system to address a point of constant tension: whether to build custom features in response to new customers' requests, even if these custom features entail expensive departures from OPOWER's product roadmap. The system grants Sales a number of tokens it can "spend" annually on engineering work to build custom features - boosting the odds of signing contracts with new customers. In December 2010, a request for proposal from a very large utility will put the token system to the test, because the customer is demanding a custom feature that would be unusually disruptive to develop.

    Keywords: Business Startups; Customer Relationship Management; Entrepreneurship; Growth Management; Product Development; Sales; Customization and Personalization; Energy Conservation; Environmental Sustainability; Information Technology Industry; Utilities Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas, and Rob Go. "Product Development at OPOWER." Harvard Business School Case 811-075, February 2011. (Revised November 2012.)
  34. RentJuice

    RentJuice, founded in mid-2008, provided a subscription software service—sold via phone and live online webinars—that allowed real estate professionals like brokers and agents to manage and market rental listings, communicate with clients, and complete transaction paperwork (e.g., tenant applications, credit screening, lease documents), all through a single, intuitive, web-based interface. The case explores RentJuice's early development and the challenges it confronted in scaling its direct sales effort.

    Keywords: Renting or Rental; Product Launch; Software; Property; Business Startups; Salesforce Management; Product Marketing; Real Estate Industry; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas, and Liz Kind. "RentJuice." Harvard Business School Case 811-069, February 2011. (Revised November 2012.)
  35. Aquion Energy

    Leaders at Aquion Energy, a Pittsburgh-based battery start-up, are deciding on a market entry strategy. Should they pursue the large but unproven grid utility market or a smaller, but higher margin market?

    Keywords: Business Startups; Production; Business Strategy; Growth and Development Strategy; Innovation Strategy; Disruptive Innovation; Market Entry and Exit; Performance Capacity; Energy Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and David Kiron. "Aquion Energy." Harvard Business School Case 811-047, February 2011. (Revised November 2012.)
  36. Aardvark

    Aardvark is an online social search service that allows users to pose questions and receive answers from other users in their extended social network. The case explores the process that Aardvark's founders used to design and develop their product based on intensive customer feedback.

    Keywords: Business Startups; Customer Focus and Relationships; Customer Satisfaction; Entrepreneurship; Product Design; Product Development; Social and Collaborative Networks; Internet;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., Alison Berkley Wagonfeld, and Lauren Barley. "Aardvark." Harvard Business School Case 811-064, January 2011.
  37. Mochi Media

    In late 2009, the management of Mochi Media, a venture-backed startup, must decide how to invest scarce resources to achieve continued growth. Mochi has developed a three-sided platform, connecting Flash game developers, sites that aggregate these games, and advertisers. The case describes the company's history from conception through 2009, when strategic options include broadening beyond Flash games into iPhone-, Android- and Facebook-based games, and vertically integrating into the game aggregator role, which would capture more value but put Mochi into direct competition with platform partners.

    Keywords: Business Model; Business Startups; Games, Gaming, and Gambling; Entrepreneurship; Growth and Development Strategy; Network Effects; Multi-Sided Platforms; Partners and Partnerships; Competition;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Amit Jain. "Mochi Media." Harvard Business School Case 811-056, January 2011.
  38. Triangulate

    In October 2010, Triangulate's founder/CEO must determine what product features to develop and what marketing programs to pursue in order to boost the odds of successfully raising another venture capital round for his nine month-old Facebook dating application. The case recounts the process of launching a consumer internet startup, from idea conception through initial efforts to validate the concept, followed by product launch and subsequent business model "pivots."

    Keywords: Business Model; Business Startups; Entrepreneurship; Venture Capital; Product Launch; Social and Collaborative Networks; Internet;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Lauren Barley. "Triangulate." Harvard Business School Case 811-055, January 2011.
  39. Google Inc. (Abridged)

    Describes Google's history, business model, governance structure, corporate culture, and processes for managing innovation. Reviews Google's recent strategic initiatives and the threats it poses to Yahoo, Microsoft, and others. Asks what Google should do next. One option is to stay focused on the company's core competence, i.e., developing superior search solutions and monetizing them through targeted advertising. Another option is to branch into new arenas, for example, build Google into a portal like Yahoo or MSN; extend Google's role in e-commerce beyond search to encompass a more active role as an intermediary (like eBay) facilitating transactions; or challenge Microsoft's position on the PC desktop by developing software to compete with Office and Windows.

    Keywords: Business Model; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Corporate Governance; Organizational Culture; Organizational Structure; Competitive Strategy; Search Technology; Web Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Thomas R. Eisenmann. "Google Inc. (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 910-032, February 2010. (Revised December 2010.)
  40. Steven Carpenter at Cake Financial

    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;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld. "Steven Carpenter at Cake Financial." Harvard Business School Case 811-041, December 2010.
  41. The Huffington Post

    In Feb. 2010, management of the Huffington Post, a fast-growing but not-yet-profitable Internet newspaper that aggregates blog posts from unpaid contributors and excerpts of stories originally published by other news sites, faces a number of decisions about its growth strategy. Foremost, Huffington Post management must determine whether to rely to a greater extent upon social networking technologies (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) to select and present the content delivered to specific users or continue to rely on human editors to play a curator role.

    Keywords: Networks; Business Model; Cost vs Benefits; Internet; Entrepreneurship; Growth and Development Strategy; Publishing Industry; Media and Broadcasting Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., Toby E. Stuart, and David Kiron. "The Huffington Post." Harvard Business School Case 810-086, March 2010. (Revised October 2010.)
  42. AME Learning Inc.

    Justin Joffe is about to graduate from HBS in Spring 2009. He must decide whether to join his father's company, Toronto-based AME Learning, as president working alongside his father who will be CEO. AME has been in business for 12 years, mostly as a small consulting firm doing financial literacy training. Recently, it shifted strategy to provide textbooks for college accounting courses. The Joffes are trying to raise private equity financing, but market conditions have made it difficult and the company is at risk of exhausting the senior Joffe's savings. The case explores the challenges of creating an intergenerational working relationship and asks students to evaluate the alternatives facing the two Joffes as they consider the future for themselves and AME Learning.

    Keywords: Business Model; Family Business; Age Characteristics; Private Equity; Financing and Loans; Growth and Development Strategy; Family and Family Relationships;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Ann Leamon. "AME Learning Inc." Harvard Business School Case 810-065, November 2009. (Revised October 2010.)
  43. Google Inc. and Google Inc. (Abridged)

    Teaching Note for [910032] and [910036].

    Keywords: Web Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Edelman, Benjamin, and Thomas R. Eisenmann. "Google Inc. and Google Inc. (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 910-050, June 2010.
  44. Orange: Read&Go

    In late 2008, Orange (aka France Telecom) must decide if launching Read&Go, an electronic newsstand built around an e-paper reader, would be successful. The case describes (1) Orange's strategy; (2) the company's new product development process; (3) e-paper technology, which simulates the appearance of printed paper on a screen; (4) consumer demand for e-paper services; (5) potential competitors, including Amazon's Kindle; (6) business model options for Orange's service; and (7) the reactions of French newspapers-crucial content partners-to Orange's proposal.

    Keywords: Business Model; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Technological Innovation; Demand and Consumers; Product Development; Partners and Partnerships; Competition; Publishing Industry; France;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., Toby E. Stuart, Bhaskar Chakravorti, Vincent Marie Dessain, Simon Harrow, and Elena Corsi. "Orange: Read&Go." Harvard Business School Case 809-122, February 2009. (Revised May 2010.)
  45. Visions of Web 3.0

    Explores the Semantic Web, a vision for the next generation of the World Wide Web in which information is stored in machine-readable formats. While the Semantic Web would make information more easily accessible, barriers to its adoption are very high because website owners would need to recode data and content on their existing sites, agree on ontologies for structuring information, and develop new tools for querying Semantic Web data. The case profiles two start-ups with very different strategies for exploiting Semantic Web opportunities: Radar Networks and Metaweb Technologies.

    Keywords: Business Startups; Entrepreneurship; Strategy; Technology Adoption; Technology Platform; Semantic Web;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and David Andrew Vivero. "Visions of Web 3.0." Harvard Business School Case 808-147, April 2008. (Revised May 2010.)
  46. Talent Agencies

    The case overviews the talent agency industry in Hollywood in 2009. Focuses on the role of the talent agent, the dynamics of professional service firms, the challenges facing agencies in light of major changes in the entertainment industries, and a possible merger between two of the industry's five major players.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Problems and Challenges; Change; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; Los Angeles;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., Toby E. Stuart, and Lauren Barley. "Talent Agencies." Harvard Business School Case 810-104, April 2010.
  47. Skype

    Presents eBay's rationale for its $2.6 billion acquisition in late 2005 of Skype, a fast growing voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) provider. Describes Skype's history, technology, business model, and competition, as well as government regulation of VoIP services.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Business Model; Communication Technology; Growth and Development Strategy; Network Effects; Competitive Strategy; Internet; Technology Networks; Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Coles, Peter A., and Thomas R. Eisenmann. "Skype." Harvard Business School Compilation 806-165, March 2006. (Revised December 2009.)
  48. Linden Lab: Opening Second Life

    In early 2008, managers in Linden Lab, creator of the virtual world Second Life, faced decisions about the company's strategy. Despite profound initial skepticism about demand for a user-generated virtual world that was not a traditional game, Second Life had achieved profitability and strong growth. However, growth had strained the company's infrastructure, resulting in frequent software crashes. Software ease-of-use was also a serious problem. As a result, 90% of new users abandoned Second Life after only a brief trial. Management was considering whether marketing partnerships and open sourcing its software might relieve strains and facilitate future growth. Linden Lab was also debating whether and how to allow interoperability between Second Life and other virtual worlds.

    Keywords: Business Growth and Maturation; Decision Choices and Conditions; Entrepreneurship; Growth and Development Strategy; Open Source Distribution; Partners and Partnerships; Software;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld. "Linden Lab: Opening Second Life." Harvard Business School Case 808-114, March 2008. (Revised August 2009.)
  49. Linden Lab: Crossing the Chasm

    In early 2008, managers at Linden Lab, creator of the virtual world Second Life, faced decisions about the company's growth strategy. Despite profound initial skepticism about demand for a user-generated virtual world that was not a traditional game, Second Life had achieved profitability and strong growth. However, sustaining growth would prove challenging. Growth had strained Linden Lab's technical infrastructure. Also, although Second Life had attracted a large, loyal base of early adopters, it was unclear whether their preferences were similar to those of mainstream consumers. In this context, management faced choices about platform strategy and target markets. Should Linden Lab continue to offer an open platform or build its own solutions for customers? Should it target adult consumers, teens, enterprise customers, or the education market?

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Growth and Development Strategy; Marketing Strategy; Demand and Consumers; Infrastructure; Technology Adoption; Technology Platform;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld. "Linden Lab: Crossing the Chasm." Harvard Business School Case 809-147, April 2009. (Revised August 2009.)
  50. Sermo, Inc.

    Sermo operates the leading online professional network for physicians in the United States. Doctors use Sermo free of charge to post surveys regarding diagnostic and treatment concerns and to discuss these concerns, as well as challenges with managing their practices. Sermo earns revenue by charging clients who would value early information regarding the effectiveness of new drugs and medical devices-investment managers, pharmaceutical companies, and regulatory authorities. Clients cannot participate in doctors' online discussions, but they can view survey results and post their own surveys to Sermo's physician members. The case discusses challenges confronting Sermo in mobilizing this two-sided platform and in balancing the sometimes conflicting needs of the platform's two sides.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Health Care and Treatment; Knowledge Sharing; Two-Sided Platforms; Conflict and Resolution; Social and Collaborative Networks; United States;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Lars Peter Christian Nielsen. "Sermo, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 809-142, April 2009. (Revised November 2012.)
  51. Skyhook Wireless

    Ted Morgan, the founder of Skyhook Wireless just received a call from Steve Jobs of Apple asking for a meeting. Ted must decide how to prepare for a meeting that could finally give Skyhook an anchor customer. Ted and his team have worked for three years to build a new approach to location based services that uses WiFi rather than the well-established satellite based GPS technology. Skyhook's approach is more accurate than GPS in urban areas and, unlike GPS, it works indoors. Yet, large device manufacturers are reluctant to be the first ones to use it. Skyhook has no customers. The board and investors are getting restless. Should Ted offer Steve Jobs a free license, or pay him for Apple's user base – or should he insist on a substantial license fee? The case examines the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in creating a technology-based company and in getting market traction against an established standard.

    Keywords: Wireless Technology; Information Technology; Business Ventures; Business Startups; Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Ghosh, Shikhar, and Thomas R. Eisenmann. "Skyhook Wireless." Harvard Business School Case 809-119, April 2009.
  52. Staging Two-Sided Platforms

    Firms that aspire to develop two-sided platforms face a formidable challenge. Prospective users on each side will not invest in the platform until they are confident there will be enough users on the other side. Traditional strategies for dealing with this dilemma--subsidizing users or securing their exclusive affiliation--are costly and risky. Describes less costly staged strategies for building two-sided platforms. With the "vendor to two-sided platform" strategy, a firm starts as a vendor selling products or services to customers on just one side of a potential--but not yet existing--two-sided network. Once the first side is firmly established, it proves easier to attract users to the network's other side during stage two. With the "merchant to two-sided platform" strategy, a firm starts as a merchant buying goods from many different suppliers and reselling them, in the process absorbing all the risk of platform failure. In stage two, the firm shifts risk and control back to some or all of its suppliers, giving them more responsibility for managing inventory, pricing, and merchandising their wares. Presents examples and offers guidelines for when to use each strategy.

    Keywords: Business Model; Risk Management; Two-Sided Platforms; Supply Chain; Strategy; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Andrei Hagiu. "Staging Two-Sided Platforms." Harvard Business School Background Note 808-004, July 2007. (Revised March 2008.)
  53. Podcasting

    Profiles the nascent podcasting industry, based on a compilation of published articles. Describes factors driving industry growth, barriers to adoption, ecosystem roles, and potential business models.

    Keywords: Business Model; Communication Technology; Entrepreneurship; Industry Growth; Media; Internet; Technology Adoption; Media and Broadcasting Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Kerry Herman. "Podcasting." Harvard Business School Compilation 806-109, January 2006. (Revised November 2007.)
  54. Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. (TN)

    Keywords: Production; Manufacturing Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 808-081, October 2007.
  55. DLJdirect: "Putting Our Reputation Online" (TN)

    Teaching Note for (9-800-164).

    Keywords: Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. DLJdirect: "Putting Our Reputation Online" (TN). Harvard Business School Teaching Note 803-178, March 2003. (Revised October 2007.)
  56. Managing Networked Businesses: Course Overview for Students

    Provides an overview for students of the MBA elective course Managing Networked Businesses (MNB). MNB focuses on management challenges in businesses that exhibit network effects. The first section of the note explains that such businesses comprise a large and growing share of the global economy and confront distinctive management challenges. Due to the unusual microeconomic attributes of networked businesses, designing optimal business models is difficult, and managers often must cope with winner-take-all competitive dynamics. Winner-take-all outcomes have profound implications for strategy decisions, and choices about capital structure, organizational design, and government relations. For this reason, MNB employs a general management perspective. The second section of the note reviews a set of core concepts covered in MNB and provides definitions of networks, network effects, and platforms. The final section briefly describes the organization and contents of MNB's modules.

    Keywords: Business Model; Capital Structure; Business or Company Management; Network Effects; Organizational Design; Business and Government Relations; Social and Collaborative Networks; Competitive Strategy;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Managing Networked Businesses: Course Overview for Students." Harvard Business School Background Note 806-103, January 2006. (Revised October 2007.)
  57. Managing Networked Businesses: Network Mobilization Module

    Keywords: Network Effects; Management;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Managing Networked Businesses: Network Mobilization Module." Harvard Business School Module Note 808-079, October 2007.
  58. Tellme Networks, Inc. (TN)

    Teaching Note for (9-801-319).

    Keywords: Telecommunications Industry; Technology Industry; San Francisco;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Nicole Tempest. "Tellme Networks, Inc. (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 801-320, December 2000. (Revised October 2007.)
  59. NeoPets, Inc (TN)

    Teaching Note for (9-802-100).

    Keywords: Information Technology Industry; Asia; Singapore;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "NeoPets, Inc (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 803-106, March 2003. (Revised October 2007.)
  60. Akamai Technologies (TN)

    Keywords: Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Akamai Technologies (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 808-024, July 2007. (Revised October 2007.)
  61. Tele-Communications, Inc.: Accelerating Digital Deployment (TN)

    Teaching Note for (9-899-141).

    Keywords: Management Teams; Strategy; Technology; Telecommunications Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Tele-Communications, Inc.: Accelerating Digital Deployment (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 803-177, March 2003. (Revised October 2007.)
  62. Platform-Mediated Networks: Definitions and Core Concepts

    Defines platform-mediated networks and introduces concepts central to their study. First, it defines networks and network effects; explains how network effects influence users' willingness-to-pay for network access; describes factors that determine the strength of network effects; discusses how a network's success may depend upon users' expectations about its growth prospects; defines network externalities and their significance; presents a taxonomy of networks based on the number of distinct user groups--sides--that they encompass; and explains why network effects should be viewed as demand-related rather than supply-related scale economies. Second, it defines platforms; describes different roles that firms play in platform creation and maintenance; discusses platform boundaries, for example, the distinction between platform providers and network users; and presents schemes for categorizing platforms based on their principal function, the structure of the networks they serve, and who controls them.

    Keywords: Consumer Behavior; Network Effects; Market Platforms; Information Technology; Technology Networks; Technology Platform;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Platform-Mediated Networks: Definitions and Core Concepts." Harvard Business School Module Note 807-049, September 2006. (Revised October 2007.)
  63. Managing Networked Businesses: Course Overview for Educators

    Provides an overview for educators of concepts covered in the MBA elective course, "Managing Networked Businesses," (MNB). MNB focuses on management challenges in businesses that exhibit network effects. Such businesses comprise a large and growing share of the global economy and confront distinctive management challenges. Due to the unusual microeconomic attributes of networked businesses, designing optimal business models is difficult, and managers often must cope with "Winner-take-all" (WTA) competitive dynamics. WTA outcomes have profound implications not only for strategy decisions, but also for choices about capital structure, organizational design, and government relations.

    Keywords: Networks; Business Organization;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Managing Networked Businesses: Course Overview for Educators." Harvard Business School Course Overview Note 807-104, December 2006. (Revised October 2007.)
  64. Tele-Communications, Inc.: Accelerating Digital Deployment

    The top management team at Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI), the largest U.S. cable company, conceived and implemented a dramatic operational turnaround and a radical new technology strategy over an 18-month period beginning in late 1996.

    Keywords: Technological Innovation; Value Creation; Operations; Information Management; Business Strategy; Information Technology Industry; Telecommunications Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Tele-Communications, Inc.: Accelerating Digital Deployment." Harvard Business School Case 899-141, December 1998. (Revised October 2007.)
  65. NTT DoCoMo, Inc.: Mobile FeliCa (TN)

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "NTT DoCoMo, Inc.: Mobile FeliCa (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 807-116, December 2006. (Revised October 2007.)
  66. PayPal Merchant Services (TN)

    Keywords: Online Technology; Web; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "PayPal Merchant Services (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 808-031, July 2007. (Revised October 2007.)
  67. Atheros Communications (TN)

    Keywords: Communications Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Atheros Communications (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 807-174, June 2007. (Revised September 2007.)
  68. Sun Microsystems, Inc.: Web Services Strategy (TN)

    Keywords: Technology; Web; Strategy; Computer Industry; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Sun Microsystems, Inc.: Web Services Strategy (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 808-080, September 2007.
  69. Monster Networking (TN)

    Keywords: Networks;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Monster Networking (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 807-138, June 2007. (Revised September 2007.)
  70. RealNetworks Rhapsody (TN)

    Keywords: Media; Media and Broadcasting Industry; Entertainment and Recreation Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "RealNetworks Rhapsody (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 808-069, September 2007. (Revised September 2007.)
  71. Platform-Mediated Networks

    Offers pedagogical guidance for instructors who wish to include a one- to four-session module on platform-mediated networks in an existing course on strategy, business policy, entrepreneurship, technology management, or marketing.

    Keywords: Networks;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Platform-Mediated Networks." Harvard Business School Module Note 807-067, December 2006. (Revised September 2007.)
  72. Managing Networked Businesses: Summary Module

    Offers pedagogical guidance for instructors teaching the summary module of Managing Networked Businesses, an elective course described in "Managing Networked Businesses: Course Overview for Educators." Also describes how the module materials can be adapted for use in an existing course on strategy, marketing, entrepreneurship, technology management, information systems, economics, or e-commerce. Materials include Akamai Technologies (804-158) and a teaching note (808-024); Atheros Communications (806-093) and a teaching note (807-174); and PayPal Merchant Services (806-188) and a teaching note (808-031).

    Keywords: Networks; Business Organization;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Managing Networked Businesses: Summary Module." Harvard Business School Module Note 808-003, July 2007. (Revised September 2007.)
  73. A Note on Racing to Acquire Customers

    Examines factors that motivate a firm's race to acquire customers in newly emerging markets and explores conditions under which racing strategies are likely to yield attractive returns. Provides a definition of racing behavior, introduces the notion of an optimal level of investment in customer acquisition efforts, and considers reasons why firms might invest more or less than this optimal amount, including funding constraints and the impact of budgeting and compensation systems. Explains why firms may be motivated to race to acquire companies when they confront increasing returns to scale due to network effects and/or high fixed, up-front costs and/or high customer switching costs. Describes how the relative strength of the first and late mover advantages determines whether firms should seek to pioneer. New market opportunities often spark speculative bubbles and the case discusses why such bubbles may lead firms to overinvest in customer acquisition efforts. Presents frameworks for deciding: 1) whether to enter a new market in which rivals are likely to race to acquire customers and 2) how a company should respond when a competitor escalates a race.

    Keywords: Customers; Price Bubble; Network Effects; Emerging Markets; Market Entry and Exit; Behavior; Competition;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "A Note on Racing to Acquire Customers." Harvard Business School Background Note 803-103, January 2003. (Revised September 2007.)
  74. Winner-Take-All in Networked Markets

    Discusses platform structure in new networked markets, that is, whether a market that exhibits network effects will be served by a single platform or by rival platforms. Defines "platforms" and "platform structure"; describes factors that influence the odds that a winner-take-all outcome will prevail; and presents a framework for analyzing these factors in combination to predict platform structure.

    Keywords: Forecasting and Prediction; Growth Management; Network Effects; Market Platforms; Internet;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Winner-Take-All in Networked Markets." Harvard Business School Background Note 806-131, February 2006. (Revised September 2007.)
  75. Electronic Arts in Online Gaming (TN)

    Keywords: Games, Gaming, and Gambling; Arts; Technology; Entertainment and Recreation Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Electronic Arts in Online Gaming (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 807-066, October 2006. (Revised September 2007.)
  76. Managing Networked Businesses: Platform Evolution Module

    Offers an overview of conceptual content and pedagogical guidance for instructors using a six-session module, "Platform Evolution," from "Managing Networked Businesses" (MNB), a case-based MBA elective course on platform-mediated networks. The module explores the competitive dynamics of platform evolution and the management challenges that it poses, with a focus on three strategies: envelopment, interoperability, and licensing. With envelopment, one platform provider enters another's market with a multi-platform bundle, potentially seizing platform leadership from its target. With interoperability, previously incompatible but well established rivals relax restrictions on cross-platform transactions. With licensing, a firm that formerly served as sole source of platform goods and services licenses additional providers to harness their innovation and marketing capabilities.

    Keywords: Business Ventures; Networks; Business or Company Management; Rights; Business Strategy; Problems and Challenges; Multi-Sided Platforms; Market Transactions; Innovation and Invention; Marketing; Competition; Market Entry and Exit;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Managing Networked Businesses: Platform Evolution Module." Harvard Business School Module Note 808-063, August 2007.
  77. Atheros Communications

    Managers at Atheros, a leading provider of wireless local area network chipsets, must decide whether to join a special interest group (SIG) proposed by Intel to end an impasse over standards for the 802.11n (11n), the next generation of "Wi-Fi" technology. Two factions are supporting rival proposals for 11n standards in the IEEE, the electronics industry's chief standards-setting organization. Working outside the IEEE's formal processes, Intel's SIG would advance a compromise that could break the deadlock. Alternatively, the SIG could provoke a backlash, resulting in the IEEE's approval of a different standard for 11n. In that event, Intel and its SIG allies would suffer a severe time-to-market setback in exploiting what promises to be a large, fast-growing chip market.

    Keywords: Intellectual Property; Standards; Wireless Technology; Semiconductor Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Lauren Barley. "Atheros Communications." Harvard Business School Case 806-093, February 2006. (Revised June 2007.)
  78. eAccess, Ltd.

    The managers of eAccess, Japan's third largest provider of digital subscriber line (DSL) service, must decide whether to enter the mobile communications business. Japan's mobile services are among the world's most expensive, and incumbent carriers' profits are high. To introduce more competition, the government plans to license new mobile carriers in 2005. eAccess could realize marketing and operational synergies between its DSL and mobile businesses. Also, the company has a proven ability to influence government policy--a crucial concern for mobile entrants. However, launching a mobile carrier would require enormous capital expenditures and could expose eAccess to the risk of a price war, particularly if, as expected, its aggressive DSL rival, Softbank, also receives a mobile license.

    Keywords: Technology Networks; Diversification; Policy; Business Startups; Mobile Technology; Communications Industry; Telecommunications Industry; Japan;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., Masako Egawa, and Ariko Ota. "eAccess, Ltd." Harvard Business School Case 805-117, April 2005. (Revised March 2007.)
  79. PayPal Merchant Services

    In early 2006, PayPal management is deciding how to respond to Google's entry into online payments. PayPal, owned by eBay, has targeted online merchants outside eBay's auction community for its next wave of expansion. Google represents a potential threat to PayPal's "off eBay" strategy, as do incumbent credit card companies. PayPal management must determine whether to increase investment in its "off eBay" strategy; how to allocate investments between the two sides of its payment network (i.e., consumers and merchants) which consumer segments to target (e.g., existing PayPal account holders vs. new users); which types of merchants to recruit (e.g., large vs. small); and what changes to make to pricing terms and product features.

    Keywords: Online Technology; Competition; Expansion; Service Operations; Auctions; Web Services Industry; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Lauren Barley. "PayPal Merchant Services." Harvard Business School Case 806-188, April 2006. (Revised March 2007.)
  80. Electronic Arts in Online Gaming

    Electronic Arts (EA), the world's largest independent video-game publisher, must decide whether to support Microsoft's initiatives in online gaming. Historically, EA has been platform-agnostic, releasing versions of its titles for all major console platforms. However, its managers have serious concerns about Microsoft's strategy for its online gaming service, Xbox Live. Microsoft has maintained tight control over game features and customer relationships and has refused to share online gaming subscription revenues with game publishers. Sony has offered terms for Playstation2 online games that are acceptable to EA. Can EA afford to forfeit sales through Microsoft's platform?

    Keywords: Corporate Strategy; Technology Platform; Network Effects; Policy; Customer Focus and Relationships; Games, Gaming, and Gambling; Revenue; Segmentation; Sales; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; Electronics Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Justin Wong. "Electronic Arts in Online Gaming." Harvard Business School Case 804-140, January 2004. (Revised October 2006.)
  81. DLJdirect: "Putting Our Reputation Online"

    Online broker DLJdirect faced two decisions during the fall of 1999: what customer segments should it target and how much should it spend on marketing? Unlike its competitors, who focused either on day traders or more mainstream investors, DLJdirect differentiated its service to meet the needs of self-directed, sophisticated, high net worth investors. But was DLJdirect forfeiting profits by not pursuing day traders? In the coming year, the ten largest online brokers were projected to spend $1.5 billion on marketing; E*Trade would lead the pack with a $300 million budget. DLJdirect was planning to spend $65 million on marketing in 1999, a 250% increase over the prior year. But would increased ad spending yield a positive long-term return as the marketing costs per new account doubled? And as advertising battles intensified, was a $65 million marketing budget big enough to allow DLJdirect to sustain its competitive position?

    Keywords: Marketing Strategy; Marketing Communications; Competitive Strategy; Decision Choices and Conditions; Investment; Cost Management; Business Plan; Research and Development; Customers; Budgets and Budgeting; Online Advertising; Internet; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Gillian Morris. DLJdirect: "Putting Our Reputation Online". Harvard Business School Case 800-164, November 1999. (Revised June 2006.)
  82. Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.

    Scientific-Atlantia (S-A), a leading manufacturer of cable TV equipment, is confronting strategic challenges in mid-2004. For decades, cable operators have faced high switching costs that have locked them into exclusive supply relationships with either S-A or its somewhat larger rival, Motorola. S-A has developed technology that substantially reduces switching costs, and it is positioned to capture market share because it has an 18-month lead over Motorola in developing cable set-top boxes that incorporate digital video recorders (DVRs). Cable operators are eager to offer DVRs to stem subscriber losses to satellite TV. The case asks whether S-A should aggressively pursue opportunities to overlay its set-tops in cable systems that previously employed only Motorola gear. If so, to what extent should S-A subsidize cable operators' remaining switching costs? Are there risks in introducing more competition into what had previously been a stable duopoly? Also explores S-A's strategic options for dealing with a transition to all-digital television technology and consumers' growing demand for solutions for managing their digital media files (photos, music, etc.). Asks whether S-A should continue to offer an integrated, proprietary, end-to-end transmission solution or, instead, embrace a more open "ecosystem," relying to a greater extent on third-party software and hardware providers and offering solution elements on an unbundled basis. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Technological Innovation; Competition; Industry Structures; Television Entertainment; Duopoly and Oligopoly; Manufacturing Industry; Media and Broadcasting Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Scientific-Atlanta, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 804-191, June 2004. (Revised June 2006.)
  83. NTT DoCoMo, Inc.: Mobile FeliCa

    Managers of DoCoMo, Japan's largest mobile phone company, are formulating a strategy for mobile FeliCa: contactless integrated circuits that will be built into DoCoMo phones, allowing them to be used for quick and convenient retail or commuter fare payments, building entry, airline boarding passes, and other applications. DoCoMo's managers must determine how best to profit from mobile FeliCa. The options, which are not mutually exclusive, include: increasing mobile phone subscriber acquisition and retention rates by offering "sticky" differentiated new services; extracting monopoly rents from a joint venture (with Sony, FeliCa's inventor) that will license FeliCa technology to other mobile phone companies and application providers; and profiting from eMoney (retail payments) either through partnerships with incumbent financial services firms or by offering payment services directly.

    Keywords: Cost vs Benefits; Expansion; Alliances; Wireless Technology; Information Technology Industry; Communications Industry; Japan;

    Citation:

    Bradley, Stephen P., Thomas R. Eisenmann, Masako Egawa, and Akiko Kanno. "NTT DoCoMo, Inc.: Mobile FeliCa." Harvard Business School Case 805-124, April 2005. (Revised June 2006.)
  84. Sun Microsystems, Inc.: Web Services Strategy

    Microsoft and IBM have excluded Sun Microsystems from the board of the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I), an industry consortium that will shape the evolution of Web services standards. Sun managers must decide whether to join WS-I as a contributing member--a less influential role that lacks the veto and agenda-setting powers of a board position. Sun has recruited leading IT vendors--including several WS-I board members--to create technologies that compete with proposed standards jointly developed by Microsoft and IBM. Consequently, Sun could leverage fears of a protracted standards battle among IT users and vendors, who might pressure Microsoft and IBM to reverse their position regarding a WS-I board position for Sun. The stakes were high; Web services--software modules that exchange information over the Internet, within and between firms, interoperating across a range of hardware, operating system, and programming language platforms--were expected to become the dominant technology for enterprise computing.

    Keywords: Information Technology; Standards; Corporate Governance; Power and Influence; Web Services Industry; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Fernando Suarez. "Sun Microsystems, Inc.: Web Services Strategy." Harvard Business School Case 805-095, March 2005. (Revised June 2006.)
  85. Yahoo! Messenger: Network Integration

    Describes Yahoo!'s management of the launch of version 6.0 of its Instant Messenger (IM) product, which incorporates features from 12 other Yahoo! properties, including Search, Music, Games, Photos, Personals, News, and Shopping. The integration of features from so many properties--all of which face urgent competitive priorities beyond their support of IM--presents a complex set of product and strategy development problems. Yahoo! has a distinctive approach for managing such "network integration," which it sees as its key competitive advantage vs. Google and Microsoft's MSN.

    Keywords: Integration; Business Units; Technology Platform; Online Technology; Search Technology; Competitive Advantage; Web Services Industry; Information Technology Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld. "Yahoo! Messenger: Network Integration." Harvard Business School Case 805-102, April 2005. (Revised June 2006.)
  86. Monster Networking

    The management at Monster.com, the leading U.S. provider of online recruitment services, must decide how to proceed with Monster Networking (MN), a new business launched in late 2003. MN helps users identify other individuals who can offer career advice. Monster.com management views MN as: a vehicle for reducing the cost of attracting job seekers to its core matching services and a potential source of subscription revenue. As of early 2005, MN's performance has been mixed. Networkers were deeply engaged, but subscription revenue growth was disappointing. In the face of this performance, Monster.com management must decide whether to proceed with its original plan, eliminate subscription fees to boost traffic, augment MN's scale by acquiring an online social networking start-up, or simply terminate MN.

    Keywords: Technology Platform; Online Technology; Social and Collaborative Networks; Recruitment; Service Industry; Employment Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and David Andrew Vivero. "Monster Networking." Harvard Business School Case 805-145, April 2005. (Revised February 2006.)
  87. Rakuten

    Rakuten, a native Japanese, e-commerce start-up and highly successful company, is expanding into new categories and new countries. It must figure out how to continue its trajectory of growth and profitability. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Business Growth and Maturation; Global Strategy; Growth and Development Strategy; Technology Industry; Retail Industry; Japan;

    Citation:

    McFarlan, F. Warren, Andrew P. McAfee, Thomas R. Eisenmann, and Masako Egawa. "Rakuten." Harvard Business School Case 305-050, October 2004. (Revised December 2005.)
  88. Tellme Networks, Inc.

    Tellme, an early-stage, venture-backed company based in Silicon Valley, leverages speech-recognition technologies to provide: 1) a "voice portal" with news and other information accessible through any telephone, and 2) turnkey application development and hosting services for other companies that wish to voice-enable customer service and marketing applications. These two businesses are interdependent: partners' applications receive greater usage when they are hosted within Tellme's portal, and Tellme's portal receives greater usage by virtue of hosting a richer array of applications. In the fall of 2000, Tellme managers are debating a number of strategic issues, most importantly: 1) should they agree to voice-enable services for mass-market Internet portals like Yahoo!, which would provide significant application development/hosting revenue but accelerate competition to Tellme's own voice portal?; and 2) should they pursue a "Get Big Fast" strategy, investing aggressively in customer acquisition and brand building?

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Multi-Sided Platforms; Business Conglomerates; Business Startups; Online Technology; Venture Capital; Technology Adoption; Internet; Brands and Branding; Information Technology; Telecommunications Industry; Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Nicole Tempest. "Tellme Networks, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 801-319, November 2000. (Revised November 2005.)
  89. High-Definition TV: The Grand Alliance

    Describes political and economic forces that influenced the development of an all-digital, high-definition television (HDTV) standard in the United States between 1986 and 1996. Outlines the stakes for various government and industry participants in the standard-setting process. Contrasts the market-led approach used in developing U.S. HDTV standards to the government-led processes employed in Japan and Europe, where billions of dollars were invested in R&D but the resulting analog standards were soon abandoned. Concludes with a series of unresolved policy issues facing U.S. regulators in 1996, for example, whether to intervene to resolve technical disputes between the broadcasting and computer industries, whether to mandate or simply authorize use of an HDTV standard, and whether to set specific deadlines for broadcasters' deployment of HDTV technology.

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Investment; Policy; Management Practices and Processes; Emerging Markets; Standards; Business and Government Relations; Networks; Research and Development; Technology Adoption; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; Technology Industry; Japan; Europe; United States;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "High-Definition TV: The Grand Alliance." Harvard Business School Case 804-103, December 2003. (Revised October 2005.)
  90. Cox Communications, Inc.

    Cox Communications, the third largest U.S. cable television system operator, is confronting strategy decisions in mid-2004. Cox managers must decide whether to speed its deployment of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which offers capital and operating costs savings compared to the traditional circuit-switched technologies Cox has used to offer phone service. Cox has had great success in attacking incumbent phone companies with bundles that include TV, high-speed Internet, and telephone services. However, VoIP deployment will be capital intensive, and Wall Street is pressuring Cox, like other cable operators, to deliver free cash flow. At the same time, cable operators have been losing market share to satellite TV providers, and Cox managers must decide whether to accelerate the capital-intensive deployment of digital video recorders (DVRs) to address this competitive threat. Can Cox afford to offer both VoIP and DVRs? A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Customers; Technology; Competition; Product Development; Media and Broadcasting Industry; Telecommunications Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Jonathan Gibbons. "Cox Communications, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 804-192, June 2004. (Revised September 2005.)
  91. RealNetworks Rhapsody

    Examines RealNetwork's (Real's) strategy for the rapidly emerging online music market. In contrast to rivals who sell individual copies of songs, Real offers online music on a subscription basis. For a $10 monthly fee, subscribers to Real's Rhapsody service have unlimited rights to stream all songs from a 600,000-title library to any PC and can burn CD copies of these songs for 79 cents apiece. Real faces significant marketing challenges in persuading consumers to "rent" rather than own their music. The company must decide which channel partners--broadband access providers, consumer electronics retailers, PC manufacturers, or portals--are best equipped to help sell its services. Finally, Real must determine how to differentiate its services from those soon to be offered by a glut of new competitors poised to enter the online music market, including Wal-Mart, Viacom, Sony, Dell, and Microsoft.

    Keywords: Online Technology; Competitive Advantage; Distribution Channels; Music Entertainment; Ownership; Service Industry; Retail Industry; Music Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Steven Carpenter. "RealNetworks Rhapsody." Harvard Business School Case 804-142, March 2004. (Revised September 2005.)
  92. Blackout: August 14, 2003

    On August 14, 2003, an electricity blackout cascaded throughout the northeastern United States and Canada. Describes the structure, technology, and economics of the electric utility industry and how gradual deregulation beginning in the 1970s placed unprecedented, and unintended, stress on the transmission grid. Discusses the government's role in trying to mitigate congestion along transmission lines and facilitate improved planning and operational coordination through the establishment of independent system operators and regional transmission organizations. Also describes the recent financial performance of the electricity industry, the potential costs of modernizing the U.S. transmission infrastructure, and the role of political contributions in shaping regulation.

    Keywords: Technology; Performance Improvement; Infrastructure; Energy Sources; Business and Government Relations; Networks; Emerging Markets; Failure; Economics; Utilities Industry; Canada; Northeastern United States;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Ryland Matthew Willis. "Blackout: August 14, 2003." Harvard Business School Case 804-156, March 2004. (Revised June 2004.)
  93. Fuel Cells: The Hydrogen Revolution?

    The challenges faced in establishing hydrogen fuel cell-powered transportation in the United States, which promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on imported oil is examined. Foremost among these challenges is a "chicken-and-egg" dynamic: consumers will not buy hydrogen-fueled vehicles until a nationwide network of hydrogen refueling stations is available, and such a network will not be supplied without a critical mass of vehicles. Explores efforts of the George W. Bush administration and the U.S. Department of Energy in developing hydrogen fuel cell technology and infrastructure and in overcoming the chicken-and-egg dynamic. Also covers industrial policy and tax regimes in the United States, Japan, and the European Union and the efforts of automobile manufacturers to develop environmentally friendly transportation.

    Keywords: Taxation; Environmental Sustainability; Infrastructure; Government Administration; Energy Sources; Business and Government Relations; Network Effects; Transportation; Green Technology Industry; Energy Industry; European Union; Japan; United States;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Ryland Matthew Willis. "Fuel Cells: The Hydrogen Revolution?" Harvard Business School Case 804-144, February 2004. (Revised March 2004.)
  94. Symbian: Setting the Mobility Standard

    Symbian, a joint venture owned by companies who collectively sold a dominant share of the world's cell phones, faced competition from Microsoft in developing the operating system for "smartphones," which integrated mobile communications and computing functions. In 2003, Symbian's challenges included: 1) persuading its owners to adopt Symbian software rather than internally developed solutions; 2) determining whether to cede enterprise markets to Microsoft and focus only on much larger consumer segments; and 3) strengthening relationships with cellular network operators, whom Microsoft had targeted as alliance partners after it was unable to sell software to Symbian's owners.

    Keywords: Competition; Joint Ventures; Information Technology; Software; Wireless Technology; Mobile Technology; Information Technology Industry; Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Suarez, Fernando F., and Thomas R. Eisenmann. "Symbian: Setting the Mobility Standard." Harvard Business School Case 804-076, October 2003. (Revised March 2004.)
  95. Teledesic (Abridged)

    Describes plans for a failed project that proposed the use of 288 satellites to deliver high-speed data communications services anywhere in the world.

    Keywords: Communication Technology; Network Effects; Failure; Information Technology Industry; Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Teledesic (Abridged)." Harvard Business School Case 804-096, November 2003. (Revised March 2004.)
  96. Satellite Radio

    In early 2002, XM and Sirius were fighting for control of the emerging U.S. market for satellite radio. Each company targeted consumers in automobiles, providing 100 channels of CD-quality audio for a monthly subscription fee of $10-$13. Wall Street analysts predicted that these companies would be profitable by 2005-2006, but investors were increasingly skeptical of ventures that required huge, irrevocable bets on customer acquisition and infrastructure. This case describes the business models of the satellite radio companies, the technology they employed, and their target markets. Poses questions about their pricing strategies, strategic partnerships with auto manufacturers, and whether they should develop interoperable radios that receive either company's signals.

    Keywords: Growth and Development Strategy; Price; Risk and Uncertainty; Problems and Challenges; Network Effects; Partners and Partnerships; Technology; Business Model; Investment Return; Auto Industry; Media and Broadcasting Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Alastair Brown. "Satellite Radio." Harvard Business School Case 802-175, March 2002. (Revised November 2003.)
  97. Viacom, Inc.: Video Supplement

    Viacom reached a powerful position in the global entertainment industry through skillful and very bold acquisitions. Now its further expansion is challenged by the moves of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Different businesses within Viacom have contradictory positions on how to deal with major opportunities and how Viacom top management should manage the decision-making process.

    Keywords: Acquisition; Cost vs Benefits; Decisions; Entertainment; Competition; Corporate Strategy; Expansion; Entertainment and Recreation Industry;

    Citation:

    Bower, Joseph L., Thomas R. Eisenmann, and Sonja Ellingson Hout. "Viacom, Inc.: Video Supplement." Harvard Business School Case 397-066, April 1997. (Revised July 2003.)
  98. Teledesic TN

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Daniel J. Green. "Teledesic TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 801-078, October 2000. (Revised June 2003.)
  99. NeoPets, Inc.

    NeoPets, a rapidly growing Internet start-up, faces decisions about its international expansion strategy--whether to enter a joint venture with a conglomerate in Singapore to exploit Asian markets as well as which other regions to target. NeoPets allows its users--mostly children and teens--to create and care for virtual pets in an online world. The Web site is free to users and is supported by advertising akin to product placement in movies. NeoPets reached profitability four months after launching operations in late 1999, largely due to the fact that it spends nothing for customer acquisition, relying strictly on word-of-mouth. As of July, 2001, the company had over 8 million unique users and was ranked #four among all U.S. Web sites for "stickiness," the average amount of time that users spend online.

    Keywords: Expansion; Global Strategy; Network Effects; Joint Ventures; Business Conglomerates; Age Characteristics; Online Technology; Product Positioning; Online Advertising; Web Sites; Internet; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Information Technology Industry; Asia; Singapore;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Elizabeth Kind. "NeoPets, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 802-100, March 2002. (Revised May 2003.)
  100. Telecommunications Act of 1996, The

    Reed Hundt, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, reflects on the passage and implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The act was intended to stimulate competition and innovation in the telecommunications sector. Its provisions were of great importance to industry participants and to society at large, which led to vigorous lobbying. This note provides background on the historic conflict between monopoly local phone companies and long-distance carriers, a description of the inner workings of the FCC and the political pressures confronting the commission, a description of key provisions of the act, an assessment of how well the act has met its objectives, and Hundt's reflections on the challenges that a regulator faces in seeking a balance between private interests and public responsibility.

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Daniel J. Green. "Telecommunications Act of 1996, The." Harvard Business School Background Note 802-144, January 2002.
  101. Teledesic

    Management of a satellite-delivered broadband data communications company sets strategy in an uncertain environment, using Michael Porter's scenario planning tools to assess likely outcomes and determine which actions to take. This case draws a distinction between broadband access and backbone providers, examines ISP economics, and raises questions about how to execute vastly ambitious, risky strategies.

    Keywords: Business Model; Business or Company Management; Infrastructure; Strategic Planning; Risk and Uncertainty; Strategy; Internet; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., Daniel J. Green, and Douglas R Rogers. "Teledesic." Harvard Business School Case 802-154, January 2002.
  102. Qwest Communications International Inc.

    Describes the evolution of Qwest from a small fiber-optic construction firm in 1996 to a global telecommunications giant in 2001. Focuses on Qwest's pivotal acquisition of "Baby Bell" US West, a regional Bell operating company many times Qwest's size. Discusses the rationale for the merger and its aftermath, including the cultural challenge of integrating a scrappy start-up with a bureaucratic, traditional firm.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Asset Pricing; Business History; Knowledge Use and Leverage; Organizational Culture; Partners and Partnerships; Vertical Integration; Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Christopher Hackett. "Qwest Communications International Inc." Harvard Business School Case 802-133, December 2001.
  103. Sigma Networks, Inc.

    Sigma Networks, a venture capital-based telecommunications start-up, provides metropolitan area networks (MANs) that use fiberoptic lines to connect local Internet service providers (e.g., ISPs, hosting firms) with a long-haul ("backbone") network. MANs represent a capacity bottleneck in delivering broadband services. This case describes the challenges Sigma faces in exploiting this opportunity, including: 1) deciding on its network architecture (build vs. lease dark fiber, Ethernet vs. sonet focus); 2) deciding on which customers to target (enterprise vs. telecom carriers and Internet service providers); and 3) deciding how many metro areas to pursue simultaneously in a capital-constrained environment.

    Keywords: Business Startups; Customers; Capital Budgeting; Venture Capital; Strategic Planning; Technology Networks; Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Christina L. Darwall. "Sigma Networks, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 802-103, November 2001.
  104. BET.com

    Black Entertainment Television, a leading cable programmer, is launching BET.com, an Internet portal targeted toward African-Americans. This case examines the challenges facing BET management as it defines its service offerings and target customer segments in a fast-moving, highly competitive environment. BET.com faces two decisions: 1) whether to bundle Internet access service with its ethnic portal; and 2) whether to strictly target African-Americans or also pursue the "urban market," a young (aged 15-24), cross-racial segment with distinctive tastes in music and fashion and part of the core audience for BET's cable programming.

    Keywords: Product Positioning; Ethnicity Characteristics; Internet; Age; Race Characteristics; Decision Choices and Conditions; Business Startups; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Pauline M Fischer. "BET.com." Harvard Business School Case 800-283, February 2000. (Revised May 2001.)
  105. eBricks.com

    eBricks.com is developing an online marketplace for construction materials. The start-up company faces two decisions: 1) whether to merge with BluelineOnline.com, a firm providing project management solutions for the construction industry; and 2) whether to develop an online marketplace between contractors and distributors or, alternatively, a marketplace between distributors and manufacturers.

    Keywords: Strategic Planning; Market Platforms; Online Technology; Marketplace Matching; Decision Choices and Conditions; Business Startups; Construction Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "eBricks.com." Harvard Business School Case 800-327, February 2000. (Revised May 2001.)
  106. CNET 2000

    CNET's managers explain the strategic analysis that led to their decision to increase their annual marketing budget from $1 million to $100 million. CNET is an online information intermediary that helps consumers make purchase decisions about PC hardware and software, and then directs sales leads to online retailers.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Corporate Strategy; Budgets and Budgeting; Financial Strategy; Decisions; Growth and Development; Customer Focus and Relationships; Business Divisions; Marketing Strategy; Distribution Channels; Consumer Behavior; Online Technology; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Pauline M Fischer. "CNET 2000." Harvard Business School Case 800-284, February 2000. (Revised April 2001.)
  107. Application Service Providers

    Examines the Application Service Provider (ASP) business model. First, defines the ASP model and describes different ways to categorize ASPs. Next, summarizes the various ways that ASPs create value for their clients. Then, analyzes the economic model for ASPs, focusing on their revenue and cost drivers. Last, examines the payoff to ASPs from pursuing aggressive growth strategies.

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Sanjay Pothen. "Application Service Providers." Harvard Business School Background Note 801-310, January 2001.
  108. Online Brokers

    Describes online brokers, companies that use the Internet to help clients identify prospective trading partners and sometimes help their clients complete transactions. First, summarizes the various ways that online brokers create value for their clients. Then analyzes the economic model for online brokers, focusing on their revenue and cost drivers. Building on that analysis, the next section examines the payoff to online brokers from pursuing aggressive growth strategies. Delineates the differences between and advantages of being a broker versus a retailer or a market maker, and explores some of the strategic challenges facing offline brokers as they move their businesses online, e.g., the risk of self-cannibalization and the threat of disintermediation by clients. Explores the value proposition offered by these companies and the economic imperatives they face. Finally, seeks to provide a framework to evaluate whether the adoption of aggressive growth strategies is prudent for online brokers.

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Alastair Brown. "Online Brokers." Harvard Business School Background Note 801-307, January 2001.
  109. Networked Utility Providers

    Defines and describes ways to categorize networked utilities, software "applets" such as RealNetwork's RealPlayer, Macromedia's Shockwave, and AOL's ICQ that are downloaded via the Internet. Networked utilities extend basic Web browser capability to allow users to complete specialized tasks, such as accessing "rich" media files (audio, video, animations) or chatting in real time with other users. Discusses the economic model for networked utility providers, focusing on their revenue and cost drivers. Examines some of the challenges they encounter in establishing a technical standard, and describes tactics that they can employ to improve their odds of success. Building on that analysis, the final section examines the payoff to networked utility providers from aggressive growth strategies.

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Alastair Brown. "Networked Utility Providers." Harvard Business School Background Note 801-309, December 2000.
  110. Online Market Makers

    Describes the business model for online market makers, firms that use the Internet to organize a marketplace, providing participants with a virtual "place" to trade, rules to govern their exchanges, and infrastructure to support trading. First it proposes a definition of market making and presents different ways to categorize online market makers. Next it describes how online market makers create value for market participants. Then it examines the economics of market making, focusing on revenue and cost drivers, using both online and offline examples. Building on that analysis, the final section examines the risks and potential payoffs to online market makers from pursuing aggressive growth strategies. Explores the value proposition offered by these companies and the economic imperatives they face. Finally, seeks to provide a framework for evaluating whether the adoption of aggressive growth strategies is prudent for online market makers.

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Chris Hackett. "Online Market Makers." Harvard Business School Background Note 801-308, December 2000.
  111. Staples.com

    Staples.com, the online unit of the U.S. office supplies retailing chain Staples, faces a range of strategic and organizational issues as it accelerates its growth. Should it pursue only existing Staples customers or consumers who do not shop in Staples stores? How quickly should it add services (e.g. legal, payroll, accounting) to its product offering? Which operating functions should be shared between the online units and the core business? Should Staples.com be spun off as a tracking stock?

    Keywords: Supply Chain; Business Units; Business Model; Growth and Development; Online Technology; Entrepreneurship; Business Strategy; Service Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., Joanna M. Jacobson, and Gillian Morris. "Staples.com." Harvard Business School Case 800-305, February 2000. (Revised December 2000.)
  112. BET.com TN

    Teaching Note for (9-800-283).

    Keywords: Entertainment and Recreation Industry; Distribution Industry; Africa; United States;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Pauline M Fischer. "BET.com TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 801-196, December 2000.
  113. Online Portals

    Describes the online portal business model. Analyzes the model, focusing on the tactics used to acquire new users, turn new users into repeat visitors, and monetize user traffic. Explains portals' revenue and cost drivers and their implications for pursuing aggressive growth strategies. Finally, explores the challenges facing companies that aspire to develop portals for new online access technologies, such as wireless data and interactive television. To accompany teaching cases on online portals in courses on Internet strategies and e-commerce. Provides background on the online portal business model, and explains how it differs from other Internet business models. Examines the strategic choices that portals typically face. Also describes how portals can add value as consumers adopt emerging technologies, such as wireless data and interactive television.

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Sanjay Pothen. "Online Portals." Harvard Business School Background Note 801-305, December 2000.
  114. Online Retailers

    Describes online retailers, companies that use the Internet to sell physical goods. Defines online retailers and describes different ways to categorize them. Explores their economic model and value proposition for consumers in comparison with offline retailers. Next, explores the payoff to online retailers from pursuing a "Get Big Fast" strategy--i.e., investing aggressively in customer acquisition and brand building--and identifies best practices that online retailers might employ to maximize their chances of success. Lastly, discusses implications of shopping "bots," and the prospects for disintermediation by retailers by manufacturers.

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Alastair Brown. "Online Retailers." Harvard Business School Background Note 801-306, December 2000.
  115. Internet Access Providers

    Describes the Internet access provider business model. First, it defines the model and presents different ways to categorize access providers. Second, it offers a summary of the various ways that Internet access providers create value for their customers. Next, it analyzes the economic models for access providers that charge a subscription fee and ISPs that offer free service, respectively, focusing on their revenue and cost drivers. Lastly, it examines the payoff to Internet access providers from pursuing a "Get Big Fast" strategy, i.e., investing aggressively in customer acquisition. How do access providers add value for consumers and reach profitability? How are the various technologies used to access the Internet--dial-up modems, cable TV, satellites, wireless phones--evolving, and what are the implications for access providers? What tradeoffs do access providers face in pursuing aggressive growth strategies? Lastly, will the access provider industry consolidate, leave only a few ISPs in the years to come, or will niche players thrive into the future?

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Daniel Green. "Internet Access Providers." Harvard Business School Background Note 801-304, December 2000.
  116. Online Content Providers

    Describes the business model for online content providers, companies that distribute copyright content via the Internet. Focuses on their revenue and cost drivers and on the ways that online content providers create value for consumers. Also investigates the benefits and risks of pursuing aggressive growth strategies and hybridizing this business model with others, such as online retailers and portals. Tackles other strategic and management issues such as: 1) the effects of the advent of broadband, 2) the tradeoffs involved with syndicating content, and 3) the challenges offline content providers face in moving their content online. Provides an in-depth analysis of online content providers, supplementing case studies used in an MBA elective course that examines various Internet business models. Additionally, provides a thorough explanation of the strategic decision such a company faces and a framework for making those decisions.

    Keywords: Online Technology; Customers; Value Creation; Business Model; Internet; Cash Flow; Risk and Uncertainty; Growth and Development Strategy; Problems and Challenges; Decision Making; Profit; Revenue; Information Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Alastair Brown. "Online Content Providers." Harvard Business School Background Note 801-261, November 2000. (Revised December 2000.)
  117. Geocast Network Systems, Inc.

    Teaching Note for (9-801-211).

    Keywords: Web Services Industry; Entertainment and Recreation Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Christina L. Darwall. "Geocast Network Systems, Inc." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 801-301, November 2000.
  118. Sendwine.com TN

    Teaching Note for (9-800-211).

    Keywords: Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Abby J. Hansen PHD. "Sendwine.com TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 801-198, November 2000.
  119. Boston.com TN

    Teaching Note for (9-800-165).

    Keywords: Publishing Industry; Journalism and News Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Jon K Rust. "Boston.com TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 801-215, November 2000.
  120. Geocast Network Systems, Inc.

    Geocast, a venture-backed start-up, had developed innovative technology for "datacasting" broadband information and entertainment content to an external hard drive, where it was cached for later retrieval by a Web-enabled PC. By using terrestrial TV, direct broadcast satellites, or cable TV systems to transmit data, Geocast avoided the congestion problems experienced by Internet users, and gave its customers instant access to high-quality video, CD-quality audio, and software downloads. This case profiles the company as it accelerates toward launch, focusing on several business model design issues: 1) should the company distribute initially through TV stations, satellites, or cable partners?; 2) should Geocast emphasize content delivery or e-commerce offerings (e.g., the digital download of MP3 files and eBooks)?; or 3) should it subsidize the initial purchase of its hardware and/or charge a subscription fee for access to its service?

    Keywords: Business Model; Customer Value and Value Chain; Entrepreneurship; Venture Capital; Information Management; Technological Innovation; Marketing Channels; Corporate Strategy; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; Web Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., Christina L. Darwall, and Elizabeth Kind. "Geocast Network Systems, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 801-211, November 2000.
  121. Petstore.com

    Petstore.com is one of four contenders for leadership in the highly competitive online pet supply business. Petstore.com faces decisions regarding potential merger partners and how to brand its service within the website managed by its ultimate merger partner, Discovery Communications.

    Keywords: Competition; Online Technology; Mergers and Acquisitions; Partners and Partnerships; Web Sites; Brands and Branding; Marketing Strategy; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Petstore.com." Harvard Business School Case 801-044, July 2000. (Revised October 2000.)
  122. eBricks.com TN

    Teaching Note for (9-800-327).

    Keywords: Construction Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "eBricks.com TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 801-245, October 2000.
  123. CNET 2000 TN

    Teaching Note for (9-800-284).

    Keywords: Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Pauline M Fischer. "CNET 2000 TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 801-195, October 2000.
  124. StarMedia: Launching a Latin American Revolution TN

    Teaching Note for (9-800-166).

    Keywords: Information Technology Industry; Web Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Jon K Rust. "StarMedia: Launching a Latin American Revolution TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 801-207, October 2000.
  125. CarPoint in 1999 TN

    Teaching Note for (9-800-328).

    Keywords: Auto Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Gillian Morris. "CarPoint in 1999 TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 801-246, October 2000.
  126. Petstore.com TN

    Teaching Note for (9-801-044).

    Keywords: Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Abby J. Hansen PHD. "Petstore.com TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 801-197, October 2000.
  127. Priceline Webhouse Club TN

    Teaching Note for (9-800-287).

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Abby J. Hansen PHD. "Priceline Webhouse Club TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 801-206, October 2000.
  128. CarPoint in 1999

    Updates events in Microsoft CarPoint through the end of 1999, focusing on CarPoint's strategic alliance with Ford and on competitive developments.

    Keywords: History; Business Model; Transportation Networks; Alliances; Emerging Markets; Entrepreneurship; Growth and Development Strategy; Auto Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Gillian Morris. "CarPoint in 1999." Harvard Business School Case 800-328, February 2000. (Revised October 2000.)
  129. Teledesic

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., Daniel J. Green, and Douglas Ronald Rogers. "Teledesic." Harvard Business School Video Case 800-057, February 2000. (Revised October 2000.)
  130. Quokka Sports

    Quokka Sports is an example of one of the new broadband services focused in total immersion sports. Quokka faces two issues: 1) the broadband infrastructure is emerging slowly so the type of services offered needs to be decided on. 2) Quokka faces an explosion of competition as various traditional cable sports channels enter the Internet web-casting field.

    Keywords: Online Advertising; Decisions; Information Publishing; Infrastructure; Competition; Advertising Industry; Web Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Bradley, Stephen P., Thomas R. Eisenmann, Stephanie Mason Ogborne, and Julie C. Toscano. "Quokka Sports." Harvard Business School Case 701-011, September 2000.
  131. Boston.com

    How aggressively should an incumbent move when developing an online business that threatens its core product? With Internet competitors taking direct aim at the traditional print newspaper business model, the Boston Globe fought back with its own web initiative, Boston.com. Globe and Boston.com managers face decisions regarding whether and how to cross-sell print and online classified advertising; how to roll out online auctions; whether to integrate print and online editorial staff; and the pros and cons of issuing a tracking stock for the Internet businesses of the New York Time Company (the Globe's parent company). At a broader level, the case raises the question: Are old media companies doomed as the new economy dawns? It introduces the terms "hawk" vs. "dove" to describe businesses that enter the online arena by establishing wholly separate online divisions versus closely coordinating their online and "offline" activities. The case asks: Can employees trained in the traditional business shift to new, digital ways of thinking? Are legacy systems advantages or disadvantages given the need for Internet speed? Finally, what is the value of prior relationships with customers in an environment of disruptive technologies?

    Keywords: Corporate Entrepreneurship; Decision Making; Change Management; Internet; Customer Relationship Management; Competitive Strategy; Publishing Industry; Information Technology Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Jon K Rust. "Boston.com." Harvard Business School Case 800-165, February 2000. (Revised August 2000.)
  132. Priceline WebHouse Club

    Priceline empowered consumers to "name their own price" for airline tickets and hotel rooms; then it shopped these offers to marketers. Priceline's founder Jay Walker described the resulting transactions as a new ecosystem, that helped consumers realize lower prices while allowing marketers to turn excess inventory into profit and, in so doing, price discriminate without damaging their brands or their published prices. Airline tickets and hotel reservations were only the starting point for Priceline, however. By the end of 1999, Priceline had made inroads into the mortgage, new car sales, and car rental businesses. In November, Walker launched Priceline WebHouse Club to bring the "name-your-price" concept to groceries, with plans to eventually scale WebHouse to include almost every type of retailing. Several pressing issues confront the Priceline WebHouse management team in this case. First, the company had yet to close a deal with any major brand manufacturer. Thus, to satisfy customers, WebHouse subsidized member savings out of its own coffers, which, combined with early consumer success, led to significant losses and cash burn. To continue its customer acquisition, Walker projected that $200 million to $500 million in additional capital would be necessary. Meanwhile, the company confronted questions about where and how quickly it should expand.

    Keywords: Business Model; Strategy; Disruptive Innovation; Internet; Entrepreneurship; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Jon K Rust. "Priceline WebHouse Club." Harvard Business School Case 800-287, February 2000. (Revised August 2000.)
  133. Staples.com TN

    Teaching Note for (9-800-305).

    Keywords: Service Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Gillian Morris. "Staples.com TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 800-412, May 2000.
  134. StarMedia: Launching a Latin American Revolution

    By the fall of 1999, StarMedia had sprinted to a sizable lead in the race to acquire Latin American Internet users. Its pan-regional, horizontal portal was the first to target Spanish- and Portuguese-language speakers on the Internet, registering 1.2 billion page views in the third quarter of 1999. Thirty-three-year-old StarMedia co-founder Fernando Espuelas was the toast of "Silicon Alley" and a recognized hero throughout Latin America. A picture of him on the cover of Internet World magazine--ripping his shirt open to show the StarMedia logo, like Superman, summed up the spirit of the company. But each day brought an announcement of a new initiative by a heavyweight nemesis. To maintain its lead, StarMedia raised and spent money at a frenetic pace, promoting its brand, acquiring companies, and launching new Web initiatives. Losses for 1999 were projected to be $90 million on revenues of $19 million, a burn rate made sustainable by private and public financing rounds that had netted the company half a billion dollars since its 1996 inception. By December 1999, StarMedia had evolved from a pure Web company to an integrated media company that stretched into the ISP, mobile phone, and broadband production businesses with more than 700 employees in 12 countries. As the new millennium dawned, the major question facing StarMedia's executive team was how to best leverage the company's infrastructure to maintain and extend its traffic leadership--and to monetize its audience--in an environment that was becoming both more competitive and more sophisticated. Includes color exhibits.

    Keywords: Private Ownership; History; Risk Management; Business Cycles; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Infrastructure; Media; Emerging Markets; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Web; Information Technology Industry; Web Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Jon K Rust. "StarMedia: Launching a Latin American Revolution." Harvard Business School Case 800-166, January 2000. (Revised April 2000.)
  135. Sendwine.com

    Sendwine.com, an online retailer of premium gifts of wine by the bottle, faced decisions about its growth strategy in mid-1999. Mike Lannon, president and founder, had established his company as a prominent player in an increasingly crowded field. But with success came a difficult choice: How should Sendwine.com spend the venture capital money it subsequently had attracted? Should the company consolidate its niche position in wine gift giving? Or should it aggressively expand into new gift-giving categories under the "Send.com" name?

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Venture Capital; Financial Strategy; Problems and Challenges; Luxury; Diversification; Internet; Web Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., Charmaine C Ess, and Ann A. O'Hara. "Sendwine.com." Harvard Business School Case 800-211, December 1999.
  136. Tele-Communications, Inc. (A): Cascading Miracles

    John Malone, CEO of Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI), the largest U.S. cable television company, is in the midst of a strategic and operational turnaround. TCI has been losing market share to direct-to-home satellite broadcasters, and Malone is considering a bold new technology strategy to stem the share loss.

    Keywords: Technological Innovation; Operations; Television Entertainment; Business Strategy; Volatility; Telecommunications Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Tele-Communications, Inc. (A): Cascading Miracles." Harvard Business School Case 899-215, February 1999.
  137. Tele-Communications, Inc. (B): The Empire Strikes Back

    Teaching Note for (9-201-061).

    Keywords: Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R. "Tele-Communications, Inc. (B): The Empire Strikes Back." Harvard Business School Case 899-216, February 1999.
  138. Viacom, Inc.: Carpe Diem (Condensed)

    Viacom has built a powerful position in the global entertainment industry through skillful and bold acquisitions. Now its expansion is challenged by the moves of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Different businesses within Viacom have contradictory positions on how to deal with major opportunities and how Viacom top management should manage the decision-making process.

    Keywords: Acquisition; Cost vs Benefits; Decisions; Entertainment; Competition; Corporate Strategy; Expansion; Entertainment and Recreation Industry;

    Citation:

    Bower, Joseph L., and Thomas R. Eisenmann. "Viacom, Inc.: Carpe Diem (Condensed)." Harvard Business School Case 398-086, January 1998. (Revised March 1998.)
  139. Viacom, Inc.: Carpe Diem

    Viacom has reached a powerful position in the global entertainment industry through skillful and very bold acquisitions. Now its further expansion is challenged by the moves of Rupert Murdock's News Corp. Different businesses within Viacom have contradictory positions on how to deal with major opportunities and how Viacom top management should manage the decision-making process.

    Keywords: Acquisition; Cost vs Benefits; Decisions; Entertainment; Global Strategy; Management; Competition; Corporate Strategy; Expansion; Entertainment and Recreation Industry;

    Citation:

    Bower, Joseph L., and Thomas R. Eisenmann. "Viacom, Inc.: Carpe Diem." Harvard Business School Case 396-250, February 1996. (Revised November 1996.)