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Case Studies

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Most Recent Case Studies

  1. Danaher’s Instruments of Change
    Distinctive capabilities have been central to Danaher’s success since the mid-1980s, when Mitchell Rales and Steven Rales, two brothers who owned a commercial real estate business, discovered they had a knack for buying and turning around ailing manufacturing companies. Over the years, the company had evolved from a highly leveraged startup to a profitable family of ventures with a market capitalization of more than US$40 … [ Read more ]

  2. The Tenets of A/B Testing from Duolingo’s Master Growth Hacker
    Optimizing a product is always a mix of the grand and the granular. Gina Gotthilf, VP of Growth at language education platform Duolingo, knows that anything you send out to your users — even a dot — yields valuable data. So test it all, internalize every number, and use those results to inform what you do next.By assiduously testing every notification, app screen and line … [ Read more ]

  3. How Instacart Uses Data to Craft A Bespoke Comp Strategy
    Under pressure, startups have a need for speed that makes freestyle negotiations or plug-and-play comp data resources attractive. But it doesn’t have to stay this way — and it can’t if a company wants a sound comp philosophy, one that prizes equity, transparency and employee happiness. Enter Jeremy Stanley, Udi Nir and Guissu Baier, the VPs of Data Science, Engineering and HR, respectively. They’re the … [ Read more ]

  4. Pivot Survival Tactics from Kabam’s 3 Near-Death Triumphs
    Kabam's story is pretty well known. In a Cinderella story twist, the social network-turned-sports-turned-gaming company weathered three major pivots in 10 years to ultimately sell for $800 million. This is pretty much unheard of. But there's a big chunk of this unlikely tale that hasn't been told — how they managed to pull it off. In this exclusive interview, Co-founder and CEO Kevin Chou shares … [ Read more ]

  5. Credit Karma’s CEO Built a Sexy Brand in an Unsexy Category with No PR Firm and a Tiny Budget — Here’s How
    At First Round, we get asked all the time how companies can capture mindshare and customer fascination when they have hardly any resources to throw at it. Well, Kenneth Lin’s company Credit Karma did exactly that to create a company now worth over $3 billion, and he broke down how for the audience at our last CEO Summit. In this piece, we share his answers … [ Read more ]

Most Popular Case Studies

  1. Marks and Spencer and Zara: Process Competition in the Textile Apparel Industry
    Marks and Spencer (M&S) has enjoyed an enviable position as a premier super-store and leading provider of high-quality fashion, but the success story seems to be ending as newer entrants like Inditex SA gained position with popular and affordable brands like Zara. What caused the shift? Professor Ludo Van der Heyden, Professor Michael Pich and Nicolas Harle use this recent case study to highlight the … [ Read more ]

  2. Opening the Gate on The Making of the First Nordic B2B Marketplace (A), Building Critical Mass (B1), To Be or
    In early 2000, four of the largest companies in Denmark began to explore an alliance aimed at the New Economy. Within months they designed a business, set strategy, and launched the first Nordic B2B e-marketplace. But they couldn't predict how events would affect their strategies, individually or as a group.

  3. What Went Wrong at Cisco
    The poster company for the new economy not only failed to anticipate the economic downturn, its much-heralded forecasting software and outsourcing infrastructure may have even made things worse.

  4. Launching New Coke
    Were you a member of the "Pepsi Generation"? Or did you believe that "Coke Is It"? In this case study, Professor Markus Christen takes you back to 1985 and the controversial launch of New Coke. After tracing the history of soft drinks in America, he focuses on the rivalry between Coke and Pepsi, and the ultimate recall of New Coke.

  5. Redesigning Nissan (A): Carlos Ghosn Takes Charge, Redesigning Nissan (B): Leading Change, Nissan's U-Turn: 1999-2001
    In 1999, when Renault agreed to throw a financial lifeline to a floundering Nissan, many observers predicted an ugly crash. Yet in just over two years, Nissan was in a sufficiently strong position to be able to return the favour to Renault. This case series explores how that remarkable turnaround was achieved.

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