New Research on the Region

  • February 2021
  • Case

Braintrust: The Blockchain-Powered Talent Network

By: Christopher Stanton, Joseph B. Fuller and George Gonzalez

A San Francisco startup seeks to disrupt the freelancing industry through its user-owned talent network powered by the cryptocurrency, BTRUST.

  • December 2020
  • Case

Thinx, Inc.—Breaking Barriers in Feminine Care (Abridged)

By: Rembrand Koning, Elie Ofek and Nicole Keller

An examination of the strategic marketing challenges facing Thinx as it tries to grow in the face of menstruation taboos and competition from large incumbents.

  • November 2020 (Revised February 2021)
  • Case

HP Instant Ink: (Self) Disrupting the Consumer Printing Market

By: Elie Ofek, Marco Bertini, Oded Koenigsberg and George Gonzalez

Seeking to disrupt the consumer printing market (before being disrupted by others), and in response to customer pain points, in 2013 HP Inc. launched an ink replenishment service called Instant Ink, where customers pay a monthly subscription fee based on the number of pages printed. Replenishment cartridges are automatically sent to the customer prior to running out of ink. The service had reached 7.5 million subscribers by mid 2020 and senior management now expected to scale it substantially. Several growth opportunities were being considered, these included: targeting customers with printers enabled to be part of the service but who declined to join in the past; making instant ink the default option when buying a new printer; adjustments to the pricing tiers and other plan components; more extensive marketing efforts to generate awareness; geographical expansion; broadening the service to laser toners; attacking the remote work space; and thinking about ways to bundle additional elements, such as paper and hardware (printers, computers, etc.). A concrete growth plan to make Instant Ink a multi-billion dollar business was needed before the annual Wall Street analyst conference to be held in the fall of 2020.

  • November 2020 (Revised January 2021)
  • Case

Zipline: The World's Largest Drone Delivery Network

By: Tarun Khanna and George Gonzalez

Zipline established the world's largest logistics network in Rwanda and Ghana by delivering medical supplies to hospitals via automated drones. The company is now looking to expand in the U.S. and partnered with Walmart to expand into home delivery. Zipline must navigate the U.S. regulatory space while prioritizing its growth opportunities domestically and abroad.

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California Research Center Team

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