EE204: Business Management for
Electrical Engineers and Computer Scientists

Group Written Assignment


  1. TaKaDu (HBS course materials)
  2. Written case analysis guidelines
  3. Grading criteria and scoring sheet
  4. Further reading:

Group Case Analysis

The first written case analysis is a group assignment. The paper must be strictly your own group's individual work, independent of discussions or consultations with other groups. This means the first case will be done in teams of 4-6 students. Please refer to the Guidelines and Grading for Written Case Analyses page of the web site. Prepared following the guidelines given in that document. You should attempt to present important background case information, and use the tools discussed in class and in the readings as a basis for your analysis. Make sure that your paper addresses the written assignment. The study questions should be addressed as part of the written assignment. The case will be due at 9AM, before the beginning of class on the due date. Papers submitted after this date and time will not be accepted (including but not limited to later in the same day).

Case Summary

In December 2012, Amir Peleg, founder and CEO of TaKaDu, reflected on how to position his young firm for the next fiscal year and beyond. The small Israeli startup had developed an innovative software system that used patented algorithms and statistical analysis to detect problems such as leaks, bursts, and faulty equipment within a water utility's infrastructure. Such problems caused significant water and energy loss at many utilities, led to service interruptions for consumers, and were only getting worse as the existing infrastructure aged. Since its founding in 2009, TaKaDu had attracted nine customers from around the world. However, as Peleg and his executive team debated how to allocate funding for the upcoming year, he needed to decide whether to focus on R&D to improve and add to TaKaDu's existing software and become the clear technology leader, or move ahead with its current offering and focus on getting new customers to penetrate the market as quickly as possible before competition intensified. Some in the company called for devoting the bulk of TaKaDu's resources to making the system more easily deployable, as deploying the TaKaDu service with a new customer could take up to two months. Peleg also wondered if the company should continue to pursue sales leads from anywhere in the world, or focus on one geographic market (and if so, what region should he choose)? An Australian water utility had made a public announcement it was accepting bids to implement a smart water network monitoring system and Peleg wanted to discuss if and how aggressively TaKaDu should bid on the contract with his management team. TaKaDu already had one Australian customer, was this the region to focus on?

Written Assignment

Recommend a comprehensive corporate strategy, including a marketing strategy and implementation plan, to put TaKaDu on a path to success. Support your recommendation with an analysis of case facts and answers to the questions below.

NOTE: Only the facts presented in the case should be used in your recommendation. This assures consistency of information and consistency in grading.

Discussion Questions

Answers to the questions below should be incorporated into your writeup.

  1. Evaluate TaKaDu's performance to date.
  2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of TaKaDu's current product?
  3. How do TaKaDu's partners affect their business?
  4. With the limited information in the case, evaluate TaKaDu's financial situation. What are their greatest barriers to profitiability?
  5. What competitive landscape is TaKaDu facing? What kind of pressure does this put on the company?
  6. TaKaDu has listed many decisions to make. How would you prioritize them, and what are your recommendations?
  7. What will your recommendation require in terms of R&D investment, time frame, and impact on financing and profitability?
  8. What metrics will you use to measure the success of your strategy?
  9. Include an exhibit of five slides that you would present to TaKaDu's board of directors.

In-Class Presentations

At the start of class, each group will be asked to present a SHORT (two-sentence) summary of what strategy their team recommended and why. No slides are needed. Each group should elect one member to state the group's recommendation.


SCPD Students

Submit the written assignment as described above. There is no other writeup due for this day of class.