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Case
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Reference no. 9-809-088
Published by:
Harvard Business Publishing (2008)
Version:
4 February 2011
Length:
14 pages
Data source:
Field research
Notes:
Customers will need to be registered on the Harvard Business Publishing website in order to view the video. https://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cbmp/product/809093-PDF-ENG?supp=true
Abstract:
This case is accompanied by a Video Short that can be shown in class or included in a digital coursepack. Instructors should consider the timing of making the video available to students, as it may reveal key case details. For several months, founder-CEO Evan Williams has felt trapped, unable to control Odeo and its strategic direction. He longs for the 'simple' days of Blogger, the previous venture he had co-founded. Although his Blogger experiences had included a major blow-up with his co-founder that had resulted in legal proceedings, a brush with near-bankruptcy, and the laying off of his entire team, Williams has become even more disillusioned with his current venture, Odeo. Odeo, a podcasting pioneer, had debuted almost two years before and had gotten off to a very strong start, with a high-profile debut at a prominent industry conference, coverage on the front page of the New York Times' Business section, and the raising of a large round of financing from a top-tier venture capital firm. His attempts to find an acquirer have failed, layoffs have begun, and he is now facing a meeting with an increasingly hostile board of directors. At that meeting, he is very tempted to resign so he can move on to his next project and regain the thrill of being an entrepreneur.
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