Project #39528 - Entrepreneurship

RightNow Technologies HBS 9-805-032

1.Evaluate the startup of RightNow Technologies in light of: (a) Kawasaki’s “top five things an entrepreneur must accomplish”; (b) the concepts of the “Lean Startup” as outlined in the articles by Blank (hypothesis testing, experimentation, customer feedback, iterative design and agile development), Eisenmann et al (managing uncertainty: minimum viable products, staging, and transferring risk to partners); and Sull (disciplined entrepreneurship). Looking back from the perspective of December 2003, how closely did Gianforte’s approach to the startup conform to these concepts and guidelines? Where did it differ? What were the implications?

2.Consider RightNow Technologies’ growth trajectory in the light of the models of organizational growth and evolution: (a) did RightNow’s growth pattern conform more closely to that of a rocket ship, a gazelle or a turtle? How successful were Gianforte and his team in clearing each of the eight hurdles of the period of transition? Evaluate the company’s current state with respect to each of the eight hurdles.

3.Consider the startup of RightNow Technologies in light of Seelig’s Innovation Engine model (video and lecture slides from S01). How was the choice of the domain and the initial product offering influenced by Gianforte’s personal knowledge, imagination and attitude? How was the direction and pace of the innovation influenced by the habitat, resources and culture of the company he created? How did these factors interact over the period of 1997 – 2003? What conclusions can you draw?

4.The case points out that Gianforte was a proselytizer for bootstrapping. Analysis of the financial statements (Exhibit 2) suggests that during the period of rapid growth in 2000-2001, the company’s operating expenses ballooned out of control, triggering a retrenchment and reevaluation of strategy. Based on the information in the case, to what extent did RightNow Technologies conform to the guidelines and recommendations provided by Kawasaki (Ch 5) and Cornwall (Ch 2-3)?

5.What do you think Gianforte recommended to his board at the end of the case? Why? (Consider the estimated market valuations of the options outlined at the end of the case using the data presented in Exhibits 2 - 6).

Outline Form Response (6-8 pages)

Format. Your name the course number and the date should appear in a header at the beginning of each page of the document. The body of each written assignment should comply with the page length guidelines specified for the assignment. The use of charts and exhibits is encouraged, to the extent that they help you make your points. Charts and exhibits should be numbered and appropriately referenced in the document. A list of references should be attached as required. Cover pages, charts or exhibits, and lists of references are not included in the page count. The manuscript should use 11- 12 point type, double-spaced, with 1” margins all around. Appropriate titles and section headings should be used. Number the pages and staple in the upper left corner. Binders and report covers are neither necessary or desired.

Outline Form Response (6-8 pages). The assignments specify an outline form response. I will expect a statement of the question followed by a bulleted or numbered list of the key items in your response. A format example is attached.

CASE ANALYSIS GUIDELINES

ï‚·Identifying key organizational issues (decisions or actions required in a given situation).

ï‚·analyzing the situation (identifying problems; understanding the underlying causal factors; and identifying andevaluating options)

ï‚·recommending specific actions (what should be done, by whom, when and in what sequence) to address the keyissues.

Specific questions have been provided to focus your analysis of each case. In general, there are no “right” or “wrong” answers for a specific case – different approaches and insights are possible, depending on your individual perspective and approach. Regardless of your approach and conclusions, I expect you to make recommendations that: (1) address the identified issues; (2) follow logically from your analysis and conclusions; and (3) make sense (are feasible) in the context of the case situation.

Subject General
Due By (Pacific Time) 09/12/2014 06:00 pm
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