EE204: Business Management for
Electrical Engineers and Computer Scientists

Finding a Market for Rethink Robotics


  1. Read: Product/Market Fit
  2. Read: CaseWiki Instructions
  3. Review: Rethink Robotics Website


The objective of the CaseWiki is for students to experience the process of structuring and researching a case related to a current business problem and participate in a conversation involving real-time issues facing corporations. Complete instructions are available on the CaseWiki Instructions page.

Case Summary

(from the Rethink Robotics website)

Building a better robot.

At Rethink Robotics, we believe that all manufacturers, regardless of size and technology experience, should have an equal opportunity to benefit from industrial robots. They should be affordable. They should be safe to operate around people. They should be easy to train and work right out of the box. And most of all, they should help U.S. manufacturers increase production while keeping jobs from migrating overseas.

Rethink Robotics is a new kind of robotics company, and our mission is to create a new kind of manufacturing robot. One that introduces robotics into processes that manufacturers have never been able to cost-effectively automate. One that uses common sense to perform a wide range of tasks and vastly improve productivity. And one that safely works side by side with its human counterparts, who are able to train it with no programming or engineering expertise.

Simply put, we are rethinking robotics. And we think you will, too.

Discussion Questions

  1. What business is Rethink Robotics in? Who are the customers? What are the competitive forces operating in this business ecosystem? Who are Rethink Robotics's competitors, and what are their respective business models?
  2. What is the overall market environment for products and services like Rethink Robotics? Are there non-traditional markets that could be more disruptive and available than those currently targeted?
  3. Is the current product line a good fit for the target market? What should be the new product development priorities?
  4. Is the current business model correct?
  5. How does Rethink Robotics maintain competitive advantage against fast followers?
  6. Does Rethink Robotics have the right team to achieve their goals?
  7. What should the funding strategy of Rethink Robotics be?