EE204: Business Management for
Electrical Engineers and Computer Scientists

Product Management


  1. Sample6: Partnering to Make Food Safer  (HBS course materials)
  2. The Product Manager (HBS course materials)

Case Summary

Tim Curran, CEO of Sample6, a start-up biotechnology company developing a novel food safety diagnostics platform, must decide how to partner with food industry players. How can he best convince leaders in this mature industry to adopt a new technology and improve food safety? Additionally, he faces a number of questions related to product development, marketing, regulatory compliance, and dynamic industry trends. This case provides an overview of food safety in the United States, and focuses on the strategic goal of transforming food safety from a "necessary evil" to a brand-enhancing differentiator.

Discussion Questions

As Product Manager for the first product release of Sample6, how would you answer the following questions?

  1. What opportunity has Sample6 identified?
  2. Who is the customer? Why are they interested?
  3. What product has been developed?
  4. Are there any further features you would push for in the first release?
  5. How does Sample6 differentiate itself from other food safety solutions?
  6. What is your launch plan for the first release?
  7. What should the product roadmap for future releases look like? What are the implications for market selection, team, financing, sales and partnerships?
  8. As a product manager, what activities would you do to maximize your credibility both internally and externally?