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Case
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Reference no. IMD-5-0619
Subject category: Marketing
Published by: International Institute for Management Development (IMD)
Originally published in: 2002
Version: 11.08.2003
Length: 6 pages
Data source: Field research

Abstract

This is the first of a two-case series (IMD-5-0619 and IMD-5-0620). Shockfish, a 1998 start-up based in Lausanne (Switzerland), was exclusively in the business of producing and selling Spotme, a wireless networking device which enables people to meet, conduct business and interact with one another at conferences. By September 2000, there were still no sales of the Spotme and it wasn''t really clear yet to Shockfish management which market they should target among the many potential ones they had identified. This was the state of affairs at Shockfish when they were approached by a firm in Zurich specialised in providing services associated with shareholder meetings for large corporations. The firm was interested in acquiring an entire wireless voting system for running shareholder meetings and felt that Shockfish could provide the right technology. The chief executive officer of Shockfish was now faced with a crucial decision. Should he sign the contract to develop and deliver a wireless voting system or not? The implications of signing were clear: his company would receive SFr 2.5 million over the next six months, but it would have to abandon its core business for four months in order to fulfill this obligation. A four month break from its core business might allow competitors to catch up with them. Should that risk be taken or not? If not, then which market should Shockfish target and how?
Location:
Size:
< 20 employees
Other setting(s):
2002

About

Abstract

This is the first of a two-case series (IMD-5-0619 and IMD-5-0620). Shockfish, a 1998 start-up based in Lausanne (Switzerland), was exclusively in the business of producing and selling Spotme, a wireless networking device which enables people to meet, conduct business and interact with one another at conferences. By September 2000, there were still no sales of the Spotme and it wasn''t really clear yet to Shockfish management which market they should target among the many potential ones they had identified. This was the state of affairs at Shockfish when they were approached by a firm in Zurich specialised in providing services associated with shareholder meetings for large corporations. The firm was interested in acquiring an entire wireless voting system for running shareholder meetings and felt that Shockfish could provide the right technology. The chief executive officer of Shockfish was now faced with a crucial decision. Should he sign the contract to develop and deliver a wireless voting system or not? The implications of signing were clear: his company would receive SFr 2.5 million over the next six months, but it would have to abandon its core business for four months in order to fulfill this obligation. A four month break from its core business might allow competitors to catch up with them. Should that risk be taken or not? If not, then which market should Shockfish target and how?

Settings

Location:
Size:
< 20 employees
Other setting(s):
2002

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