Preface of Textbook
About the Textbook
About the Authors
Book Website at McGraw-Hill
DVD Contents
Stanford 1e Book Website
McGraw-Hill 1e Book Website
Book Contents
Table of Contents
Venture Opportunity, Concept and Strategy
Venture Formation and Planning
Functional Planning of the Venture
Financing and Building the Venture
  Business Plans (App. A)
  Case Studies (App. B)
Online Sources (App. C)
Sample Syllabus
Course Overview
Calendar of Sessions
Entrepreneurial Perspective
Idea or Opportunity
Gathering Resources
Managing Ventures
Entrepreneurship and You
Additional Resources
Schools Using This Textbook
Authors Blog

This first case study introduces us to the case method of learning. At the heart of our discussion on Yahoo!, we will examine the difference between an idea and opportunity. Using Sahlman's Concept of Fit, we will analyze the situation and select from the founders' seed financing options.

Guest speakers for this class include Yahoo! founder Jerry Yang.


Relevant Textbook Chapters


Discussion Questions

  1. In the last class we studied improvisation. How did Jerry and Dave improvise in starting Yahoo?
  2. What makes Yahoo! an opportunity and not just a good idea? How will it make money?
  3. What are the major technology, market, team and financial risks of this venture?
  4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of their funding options?
  5. Should Jerry and Dave accept or not accept Sequoia's offer?
Main Case Study: Yahoo! 1995: First Round Financing
This case examines the challenges that Yahoo! founders Jerry Yang and David Filo faced in analysing and choosing a first-round financing option. Under time pressure, the founders must analyze and choose their seed financing: selling their company, partnering with a corporate sponsor or starting an independent business.
Biodiesel Inc.
Biodiesel Inc. is a mini-case study that involves three UC Davis students exploring an opportunity in biodiesel, an renewable organic product that can replace or complement original diesel fuel. The students come up with a business model starting with local producer's cooperatives.
Tellme Networks Inc.
Tellme, an early-stage, venture-backed company based in Silicon Valley, leverages speech recognition technologies to provide: 1) a "voice portal" with news and other information accessible through any telephone, and 2) turnkey application development and hosting services for other companies that wish to voice-enable customer service and marketing applications. In the fall of 2000, Tellme management is debating a number of strategic issues.
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