6: From Idea to Opportunity 1

Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Summary: This is the first of two sessions where we discuss the differences between an idea and an opportunity. In this session, we look at the particular challenges of new ventures in information technology.

Quote of the Day:
"God is in the details" Mies van der Rohe

Guests (Click for Bios)
Aayush Phumbhra, Chegg.com

Study Questions
(Policy on Study Questions.)

  • What made Chegg such an attractive opportunity (and not just a good idea) according to frameworks in E145? How will Chegg make money?
  • Identify the major risks in each of these categories at the time of the case: technology, market, team, and financial. What is the most critical category and why?
  • For general interest and only if time permits for discussion towards the end of the session, what do you believe Chegg's vision and strategy should be in 2010?
Team Case Analysis (Policy on Case Analyses.) - Group A students 

Based on the information you can find out about Chegg.com, fill in the business model framework that we discussed on Tuesday.  

1. Who are the users and customers of Chegg?  What is the problem that Chegg is solving for them?  
2. How large is the market?  (Do a bottoms up assessment of the market size and tell us what your assumptions are.)
3. How does Chegg do demand creation?  
4. How does Chegg do distribution? 
5. What is the fundamental product that Chegg provides?  What are its resources?
6. If you were starting out Chegg today, how would your strategy be different?  Specifically talk about how you might start out the first 3 months of Chegg.  How would you start doing demand creation?  How would you start doing distribution?

Required Readings (Policy on Required Readings.)

Readings from the Textbooks:
  • Technology Ventures (Byers, Dorf, and Nelson): Chapter  7, 19.1, 19.3 (Highlights)
  • Case: Chegg (Chegg.com )
Optional Readings
  • Case: Yahoo! (Byers, Dorf, and Nelson, Textbook, Appendix B)
  • Shane, 2001. Technological Opportunities and New Firm Creation (see below)