GO Corporation

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GO is a start up trying to develop a new ‘‘pen’’ computer. The case focuses on start up financial issues, selling a product idea to venture capitalists and partners, product development risks, potential competition, and forecasting demand in for a new type of product.


1. Environment: Use Porter’s 5 forces to describe the personal computer market in 1991. Who were GO’s competitors? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Where are personal computers in their life cycle? Where are pen computers in their life cycle?

2. Strategy: What was GO’s strategy? How does PenPoint fit into it?

3. Pitching PenPoint: How did Kaplan present PenPoint to KP? How well did Kaplan sell his idea?

4. Demand Forecast: Use the ‘‘Four Steps to Forecast Total Market Demand" to analyze the demand forecast provided in Exhibit 6. What are the market segments? What drives demand in each segment? What are the critical assumptions in Exhibit 7? Is the 5 forces analysis applicable to demand forecasting? Would you make any changes to GO's forecast?

5. Risks: How risky is the development of the PenPoint operating system and pen-based computers in general? How is the riskiness of GO's future cash flows related to the demand forecast? Is GO's riskiness dependent on its strategy?

6. Financial Position: How has GO raised its capital? How much money will GO "burn" before PenPoint is introduced? How financially well positioned is GO to cope with any unforeseen difficulties?

7. Decisions: How can GO maintain moment with ISVs, investors, and end-users in the face of Microsoft’s announcement? Should GO dramatically change its direction? If so, how and what obstacles need to be overcome?