EE204: Business Management for
Electrical Engineers and Computer Scientists

Marketing Myopia


  1. Marketing Myopia (HBS materials)
  2. The Rule of 72
  3. The Entrepreneurs at Twitter: Building a Brand, a Social Tool, or a Tech Powerhouse? (HBS materials)

Case Summary

Twitter has become an incredibly popular micro-blogging service since its launch in 2006. Its founders have ambitious plans for the service and are backed by $155 million of venture capital funding, that valued the company at $1 billion in 2009. Twitter seems to attract a diverse audience of users including political organizers looking to disseminate information to their followers and businesses looking to reach out--in real time--to potential customers and it serves social networking purposes. The company charges consumers nothing for its service. By 2009, competitors have emerged - some of whom have deep pockets. Yet it remains unclear - at least to observers - whether the company will ever make money from its service.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the big picture that is driving Twitter's success?
  2. What business do you think Twitter is in? Why is it important for Twitter to identify this?
  3. Has Twitter created a new market or just a new behavior? Are these things mutually exclusive?
  4. Do you agree with Evan Williams' claim that Twitter is more similar to Google than it is to Facebook?
  5. Review "The Visceral Feel of Greatness" section on p.14 of Marketing Myopia. Does Twitter embody each of the qualities necessary to succeed? Are these qualities relevant today?
  6. Using just the revenue line in Exhibit 1, and information in the case, what is your assessment of Twitter's revenue forecast? What is a reasonable set of goals for Twitter in the next 24 months, and what action items do you recommend to achieve them?

SCPD Students

See the SCPD Resource Page for general information on assignment submission, team building, expectations, and getting help. See the SCPD Grading Page for evaluation procedures for daily written assignments.

Written work should be submitted using SCPD Homework Processing procedures.

All times listed below are PDT (California time).

  1. Complete the assigned readings and submit answers to the Discussion Questions in Writeup 1 (1 page) by 9am, Tuesday 4/24/2012.
  2. The videotaped class meeting should be available via SCPD by 2pm, Tuesday 4/24/2012.
  3. Watch the video of the class meeting and meet with your team to discuss.
  4. Submit Writeup 2 (1-2 pages) by 9pm Sunday 4/29/2012. This writeup should include the following:
    • A summary of the main points of the class discussion
    • Any points from the discussion that you found particularly enlightening or disagreed with
    • A discussion of how your initial responses did or did not align with the direction of the class discussion
    • A revised go-forward strategy for Twitter