Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Since I don't have time to provide any witty stories or descriptions of happy family times, I thought I would copy-and-paste my homework assignments for this 2-week period so you will know why. Enjoy. Homework and Project Work—Session 6 Sunday, October 7, 2007 to Friday, October 19, 2007
  1. STC381—Legal Issues of Commercialization. Professor Allison.
    1. Burgunder text, Chapters 4 and 5. Important background reading, but the following assignment in my course packet is what we will focus on in class. I am not assigning Chapter 6, but those having a special interest in biotechnology may want to read it at their convenience.
    2. Allison Course Packet, pp. 49-70.
  2. STC384—Commercialization Strategy. Dr. Timothy Ruefli. Email all assignments to both Dr. Ruefli and Erin, with “STC384” in the Subject line.
    1. Read BDSS 13, The origins of Competitive Advantage: Innovation, Evolution, and Environment, 429
    2. Read “A Diagnostic for Disruptive Innovation”, Scott D. Anthony, Mark W. Johnson, and Matt Eyring, HBS Working Knowledge, Aug. 9, 2004
    3. Read Disruptive Technology Reconsidered, Erwin Danneels, J Prod Innov Manag 2004;21:246–258
    4. Read Caterpillar Tractor Co. HBS Case #9-385-276
    5. Read Komatsu Limited, HBS case #9-385-277.
    6. Submit Catkom case by start of class on November 2.
      1. What are the economics of Cat’s business?
      2. Where in its value chain does Cat add value?
      3. What are Cat’s strengths? Weaknesses?
      4. Where in its value chain does Komatsu add value?
      5. What is Komatsu’s current (at the time of the case) business strategy?
      6. What are Komatsu’s strengths? Weaknesses?
      7. What change is taking place in the global competitive environment in the 1980s that will most affect Cat and Komatsu’s business?
    7. Wiggins & Ruefli, “Schumpeter’s Ghost: Is Hypercompetition Making the Best of Times Shorter?” Strategic Management Journal, September 2005
    8. Each student is responsible for familiarity with the Caterpillar & Komatsu cases.
    9. Technology Vision & Strategy for team project (PowerPoint slides and executive summary) due by e-mail by start of class on November 2.
    10. Economics of Strategy Exam Part #4 is due by e-mail by start of class on November 2.
  3. STC394c—Managing Production and Development. Prof. Steven P. Nichols.
    1. Read Although Fisher, Marshall. March-April 1997. What is the Right Supply Chain for Your Product? Harvard Business Review.
    2. Read Krishnan, Vish and Skilbeck, Jonathan. 1999. E-Sourcing: Strategic Procurement in the Information Age.
    3. Read HBS case 9-598-109: FreeMarkets OnLine (Prepare analysis)
      1. How does FreeMarkets Online create value for its customers? How is it different from existing/traditional models?
      2. How do you assess the company’s business model (at the time of the case)? What are its strengths and businesses? Based on the data found in the Exhibits, what are the margins associated with the software and service businesses? What are the opportunities and barriers for growth?
      3. Which of the following alternatives should the company choose to grow and become profitable? Why?
        1. Horizontal market expansion or vertical market dominance?
        2. Technology and user-support subscription licensing?
        3. Networked purchasing information systems? Are there other alternatives?
    4. Online Students: Prepare the following question for discussion in the BlackBoard Forum. In-class Students: Prepare the following question in the BlackBoard Forum.
        Why are there so many intermediaries in real supply-chains?
      1. What is the physical analog of the delays in the Beer Game?
      2. What strategies do you use to win the Beer game?
      3. What makes an efficient supply chain less responsive?
    5. Do NOT mail this personal assignment to Nichols, but rather to Erin. Due on Wednesday, 28th. One report, not three. Need to have a functional analysis. Focus on buying decisions. Need to have more knowledge on the project than what is presented.
      1. Written assignments should be no more than 6 pages of double-space text plus any appendix material. [The Function Analysis (FA) assignment will allow the FA chart plus six pages of discussion and analysis.] Students should strive for quality of material presented (not quantity). Assignments will be based on
      2. Quality of Analysis. Does the assignment reflect preparation, analysis, reason and a “depth” of understanding?
      3. Insightful Recommendations (proposed course of action).
      4. Comprehensive presentation of relevant and important issues (hard and soft).
      5. Realism (does the work present a reasonable approach going beyond the numbers to include synthesis.
      6. Concise/Persuasive Presentation (clear and convincing)
  4. STC395—Market Driven Entrepreneurship. Dr. Jeffery Martin and Brett Cornwell. Contact Erin with all course related communications.
    1. TEV: CHAPTER 11, “Purchasing a Business: The Search Process” pp. 189-210
    2. CR: LBOS for Smaller Companies (HBR 88113)
    3. *CR: Jim Sharpe: Extrusion Technology (Abridged) * (HBSP 9-603-084)
      1. Assess this opportunity from Jim Sharpe’s perspective. How is the deal constructed? How leveraged will he be? Will he be able to meet his obligations?
      2. What should Jim Sharpe do on his first day as owner of Extrusion Technology, Inc.?
      3. What should his action plan be for the first six months? The next twelve months? What should his priorities be?
    4. Integrative Assignment-2 (Quantitative)
    5. TEV: CHAPTER 7, “Making Business Sense of the Internet” PP. 101-120
    6. *CR: The Evolution of ECoverage*(HBSP 9-400-081)
      1. First phase (selling the vision): In your view, should Riker have spent more time up front developing a more comprehensive business plan including detailed financial and strategic analyses? Would you invest money in eCoverage at this stage?
      2. Second phase (building the site and the company): eCoverage essentially built the company as they went along, first partnering with PSIC and then taking over more aspects of the insurance process later on. Is this an effective way of setting strategy for a young e-commerce company?
      3. Third phase (getting the word out and running the company): In the two ads placed in the Wall Street Journal during September of 1999, eCoverage attacked the establishment of the industry, causing tension with its partner, PSIC. Was this a good idea? Would you invest money in eCoverage at this stage?
      4. Fourth phase (handling over the reins): What problems/tensions could arise from having a professional manager (Scott Kauffman) take over as CEO while Riker is still a presence in the company? Would you invest money in eCoverage at this initial stage?
      5. Riker started with his idea in September of 1998 and eCoverage was moving towards becoming a full-fledged operation by February 2000. Is this fast enough?
    7. WBP: Module 10, “Management/Ownership,” pp. 83 – 90
    8. WBP: Module 11, “Administration, Organization and Personnel,” pp. 91 – 96.
    9. BPG: Chapter 10, “Management and Organization” pp. 111 – 123.
    10. Business Plan Document – “Dehydrated” – Copies to Assigned Team for Peer Review


  1. Anonymous5:40 PM

    Jesus, Bea!
    Are you ( and other victims of the system ) really expected to go read /work through all that stuff?

    BUT, If others have survived this blitz so can you, Im sure. (and with even fewer tears, I can tell U R a fighter)


  2. Bea! Ur assignments have put an end to my knowledge hunt!! A research analyst from mumbai, who have been smitten by the Gods of heavy equipments (read Cat and Komatsu). Your homework exactly compliments my domain of research/analysis(refer 11-f). Any help in this regard would greatly be appreciated! :) - Ron

  3. Hi Ron, Just send an email to my regular mail (bea@amaya.com) if you want to chat more about this. I would be happy to discuss it further with you and am really curious about you and what you are pursuing. Email me! :-)