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Case
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Reference no. SB115A
Subject category: Entrepreneurship
Authors:
Published by:
Stanford Business School (1990)
Length:
30 pages
Data source:
Field research

Abstract

Together these two cases present an opportunity to follow a very creative founder and his business on the journey to becoming major forces in the sport, and industry, of cycling. The Giro (A) case looks at a creative and visionary individual (Jim Gentes) and some of the important questions he faced as his first product became a market success. In the (A) case students find Jim Gentes, the founder, shortly after his design and introduction of a revolutionary new bicycle helmet. The case details Jim's start-up experiences, including his humble beginnings when he stocked inventory in his bedroom and used his garage as a manufacturing plant, and expanded by trading a helmet with his neighbor for use of his garage. Despite these humble beginnings, Giro maintained the highest quality and eventually placed its superior product on the heads of the sport's most respected athletes. Giro leveraged this reputation as the 'helmet of champions' as Gentes worked hard to maintain the company's standards. His helmet became well-known among cycling enthusiasts and marketers, eventually garnering a reputation as an extremely 'hot' new product. Along with this success, the business became increasingly more complicated, and an increasing number of issues required more attention. This distracted Gentes from his first love: design. Jim began his search for competent management, including a new President. The end of the (A) case leaves Jim facing a difficult decision: whether to consider a young MBA 's employment proposal that includes heavy demands for salary and equity, or restart the search for a President anew.

Topics

New product marketing; Expansion; Small business; Bicycles and motorcycles; Managerial selection; Entrepreneurial management
Location:
Other setting(s):
1990

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