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 ]

Putting Social Media to Work at Cognizant

Many companies know what social media can do but many are still unable to apply or leverage social media to distance themselves from competitors. One company that has used social media successfully is the New Jersey-based IT firm, Cognizant. These authors describe how the company did it, and did it so well that some its clients say that it has separated Cognizant from the pack … [ Read more ]

People Plus Technology Determines CRM Success

Rapid user adoption of CRM technologies is crucial to achieve productivity gains from customer-facing investments. The Bank of New York used a “high user involvement” strategy to encourage 1,650 users to adopt a unified sales process in 32 countries. Its keys to success: getting users involved early, using an efficient implementation approach, and maintaining a tight focus on delivering benefits for users, not just management. … [ Read more ]

Wal-Mart’s Way

Heavyweight retailer looks inward to stay innovative in business technology.

Toys “R” Us Battles Back

The giant toy retailer missed the Wal-Mart incursion and the Web discontinuity. But with its bricks-and-mortar advantages, it can still fight the e-tail war.

Editor’s Note: this was written in 2000 when Toys “R” Us was flubbing it’s online efforts and eToys was king – obviously a lot has happened since then but if you are looking for good background material this is worth a … [ Read more ]

Tying the Knot: IT Systems in a Merger

Two senior J. P. Morgan Chase executives explain how a worldwide team set the stage for transforming the merged firm’s IT organization.

What Can Go Wrong for $100 Million

Too many Air Garnetts. Too few Air Jordans. Nike lost money, time and a measure of pride when its demand-planning software led it astray. How did it recover? Patience, perseverance and, most important, an understanding of what it was trying to accomplish in the first place.

Amazon Finally Clicks

Ten years old and profitable at last, it offers a textbook lesson on how to be both focused and flexible.

The race for new e-business models (Allianz)

The case of Allianz Group’s drive to break away from the competition illustrates the positive impact inter-firm competition can have on overall firm strategy.

Note: This is an edited excerpt of a case study written by the Allianz Management Institute with Christoph Lechner, Karolin Marx and Günter Müller-Stewens of the University of St. Gallen. It was originally intended for classroom discussion but in this form, … [ Read more ] is China’s claims 800,000 unique visitors and takes up to 4,000 orders a day, more than half these days for DVDs and CDs. The firm’s founder monitors Amazon for new ideas, which she then pinches–and encourages her employees to order from the American firm’s site to get hints for customising her own.

Editor’s Note: this is a topical article without long-lasting business take-aways, but the inside … [ Read more ]


This Case Study examines how ChateauOnline took its wine e-tailing model from promising and well-publicized beginnings in cyberspace and then met the challenge of negotiating the complexities of a less propitious climate in a highly fragmented market. It explains how this young company developed a viable, sustainable and profitable business at a time when other start up competitors were collapsing as a result of financing … [ Read more ]

Terra Lycos: Profiting from Information Products

As the big three Internet portals – AOL-Time Warner, Microsoft/MSN, and Yahoo! continue to grow thanks to early market domination, smaller and younger portals like Terra Lycos are fighting for their piece of the action. But is there enough to go around? With Internet advertising on the slide, Terra Lycos must look for new areas of growth, and perhaps even change its business … [ Read more ]

Low-Tech High-Tech

Pacific Pride shows how good information can revolutionize even a sleepy industry- at little cost.

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.

Ducati Motorcycle (Italy): Riding Traditional Business Channels or Racing through the Internet

This case discusses the e-business strategy of Ducati, an Italian manufacturer of high-performance motorcycles. Ducati became the first firm to sell a new-model motorcycle over the Internet, its MH900e motorcycle (15,000 Euros each). Professor Tawfik Jelassi and Stefanie Leenen discuss the company’s Internet venture from creation to launch, raising issues about how to handle and integrate an online operation.

Reuters’ Internet Strategy (A) (B)

INSEAD Professor Subramanian Rangan and Brian Coleman explain that through more than 100 successful years in business, Reuters advanced through countless communication strategies – from carrier pigeons to an Internet portal. So how did Reuters manage its development, from flying through the air to flying through fibre-optic cables?

Virtual Partnerships in Support of Electronic Commerce: the Case of TCIS

Even the smallest companies can seem much larger through the virtual looking glass of the Internet. Dorothy Leidner, INSEAD Associate Professor of Information Systems, presents the case of Traitment Coopératif et Intégration de Systèmes (TCIS), a young, small, Paris-based firm that sells software products to about 700 businesses, half of which are outside France. She outlines the major obstacles facing a firm engaging … [ Read more ]

The Last Mile to Nowhere: Flaws & Fallacies in Internet Home-Delivery Schemes

Investors have risked billions on Webvan, Urbanfetch, and other same-day transporters. The economics, though, show they won’t deliver for long.

The Experience: Is Success at Hand?

Tesco currently lays claim to about one-fifth of the UK grocery market, and to take full advantage of the Internet as a sales channel, the retailing chain launched in the mid-1990s. What challenges did the “old economy” firm face as it added this “new economy” expansion? Albrecht Enders, Professor Tawfik Jelassi and Professor Charles Waldman illustrate its path, including the heated debate on implementation … [ Read more ]

Business-to-Business Electronic Commerce:, an E-marketplace for Small- and Medium- Enterprises

The Internet offers yet another forum where buyers and sellers can meet. In terms of efficiency, simplicity and accessibility, what elements make up the best online marketplaces? Michael Mueller and Professor Tawfik Jelassi present the case of, a B-2-B website that began just two years ago and struck success. What makes the firm work so well? In this case, you’ll find the insights to … [ Read more ]