New Research on the Region

  • November 2019
  • Case

Starbucks: Reaffirming Commitment to the Third Place Ideal

By: Francesca Gino, Katherine B. Coffman and Jeff Huizinga

On April 12, 2018, two African American entrepreneurs had scheduled a business meeting at a Starbucks in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. They sat without ordering, waiting for a local businessman to show up for the meeting. The store manager called 911 on them, despite the fact that they were behaving neither violently nor disruptively. When the police arrived soon after the call, they arrested the young men. The incident was viewed by the Starbucks’ leadership team, including the CEO, as “a disheartening situation” and, in the words of John Kelly, the company’s Senior VP of Public Affairs and Social Impact, “a profound failure to live up to our ideals and a violation of our values.” Starbucks, which employed around 175,000 individuals nationwide and served more than 4 million customers daily in its approximately 8,000 U.S. stores, strived to abide by its mission statement: “ To inspire and nurture the human spirit, one cup, one person, one neighborhood at a time.” The case describes how the company and its leadership responded to the crisis. To react to the incident, the leadership decided to close down its stores for a day of unconscious bias training, aimed at raising awareness of racial bias and discrimination in particular. The company also started a journey of providing more training and development for the partners, to assure that they lived by the company values on a daily basis, and revised store policy that, the leadership believed, contributed to how the store managers and employees in the Rittenhouse Square store behaved back in April 2018. As the case closes, CEO Steve Johnson reflects on how he could assure that every Starbucks employee not only understood the company mission and values, but truly connected to them emotionally and carry them out daily in their work.

  • November 2019
  • Case

GOAT Group: Jordans, Yeezys, and the Global Secondary Sneaker Market

By: Jeffrey F. Rayport, Spencer Rascoff and George Gonzalez

  • November 2019
  • Case

DeepMap: Charting the Road Ahead For Autonomous Vehicles

By: Shane Greenstein and Nicole Tempest Keller

Founded in 2016, DeepMap developed high definition (HD) mapping software and localization services for Level 4+ autonomous vehicles. Traditional navigational maps were accurate to a few meters, which was sufficient for drivers, but not for machine-driven vehicles which required centimeter level accuracy. Autonomous vehicles required a new form of map that was highly precise, produced a 3D representation of the surrounding area, enabled vehicles to locate themselves within the map, provided information for how to navigate safely using the correct rules of the road, and was updated continuously as road conditions changed. DeepMap was not selling a static mapping database, but rather licensing its software under a software-as-a-service model. As a startup with limited resources navigating a nascent market, DeepMap faced uncertainty across several dimensions: the timing of overall AV market adoption, which countries would adopt fastest, which AV segments would move most rapidly, which sensor technologies would become standard, and what impact regulation would have. They also faced the challenge of serving customers on a global scale. As DeepMap looked ahead, it had to decide how and where to focus and allocate its funding in order to achieve its short and long-term objectives.

  • October 2019 (Revised October 2019)
  • Case

NewView Capital and Venture Capital Secondaries

By: Shai Bernstein, Ramana Nanda and Allison Ciechanover

While still a general partner at Silicon Valley-based New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Ravi Viswanathan considered the challenges presented by evolving market dynamics in the venture capital space. Startups were staying private longer, which led to limited partners thirsty for liquidity and venture capital funds managing overloaded portfolios. Viswanathan and the senior leaders of NEA orchestrated the purchase of 31 NEA unrealized portfolio companies by the newly created $1.35 billion NewView Capital spinout that he would head. This secondary transaction provided liquidity to NEA’s limited partners and reallocated NEA partners’ time to shepherd other portfolio companies, while at the same time allowing NewView Capital to reap gains from future exits from a portfolio of diverse, high-quality growth stage technology companies. Now, as he prepares to raise Fund II, Viswanathan acknowledges that the unique circumstances that enabled the launch of Fund I would not be replicable, and he must consider alternative strategies to pursue next. Should he continue to focus on secondary transactions, focus on direct investments, or some combination of the two?

  • October 2019
  • Case

Leading Bank Leumi into the Future

By: Joshua D. Margolis, Allison M. Ciechanover, Nicole Keller and Danielle Golan

An unlikely but highly effective leader of a traditional bank, Rakefet Russak-Aminoach, simultaneously leads a classic change effort and an unconventional effort to innovate. She focuses her initial energy on making the bank more efficient in the face of industry changes and then rolls out a self-disrupting, independent mobile-app bank, aimed at millennials and designed to anticipate the coming transformation from fintech. The case documents the difficult situation she faced stepping into the CEO role, her change efforts, and her distinctive leadership style and how it has evolved. It ends with the enduring question of when to integrate an incubated business unit that was separate intentionally to spark innovation.

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California Research Center Team

Allison Ciechanover
Executive Director
George Gonzalez
Senior Researcher
Jeffrey Huizinga
Senior Researcher
Nicole Keller
Senior Researcher