11. Questions: Learning from Others


1. Briefly describe the nine elements of the Osterwalder and Pigneur business model. Give one case study example of each.
2. What are customer segments? Give three Internet examples where customer segments are important.
3. What are key partnerships? Give two examples of key partnerships that are not obvious on first inspection.
4. Explain what is meant by a value proposition, and give five case study examples.
5. What is meant by unbundling of a business? How can it be helpful? Give two examples.
6. Give some examples, noting the relevant case studies, of other business models/analyses.

A Start

1. Why don't all businesses convert to ecommerce?
2. What aspects can be made clearer with business models?

Coins International

1. What does this page focus on?
2. Provide hypothetical examples in a market sector familiar to you.

Fine Art Ceramics

1. What was wrong with the first business model, and how should this have been evident without further research?
2. What marketing methods should have been included in the first plan?
3. Suggest other ways of marketing through third party sites.

Halberd Engineering Ltd.

1. Describe Halberd's dilemma. What else could have been done to get an independent view of opportunities?
2. Give a SWOT analysis for Halberd Engineering.
3. What crucial step is missing from this example?

Ipswich Seeds Ltd.

1. What is the key point made by this example?
2. Describe ISL's performance in terms of the Osterwalder and Pigneur model.
3. What other marketing platforms are now available?
4. Outline a more effective marketing strategy than Peter Thomson's.

Seascape e-Art

1. Outline a research program leading to the same conclusions by a different route.
2. What marketing methods could increase conversion rates?
3. What element(s) of the Osterwalder and Pigneur model is/are crucial? What should be done?

Whisky Galore

1. What should Dale's first question have been?
2. What, overall, were Dale's two greatest mistakes?
3. Analyze Dale's performance under the Osterwalder and Pigneur business model.
4. What crucial benefit was offered Dale, which he turned down?
5. Cost an effective research program for Dale.

Amazon, Inc.

1. What aims did Amazon build its business around?
2. Was Amazon continuously successful? Describe some successes and failures.
3. What facilities does Amazon Marketplace offer? How successful is it?
4. Describe some Amazon web services and comment on their prospects.
5. Provide a simple SWOT analysis for Amazon.
6. What, in a nutshell, has made Amazon into a major player?

Andhra Pradesh e-Governance

1. What problems did the government of Andhra Pradesh face? Explain how the McKinsey plan sought to overcome them.
2. How was the plan implemented, and with what success?
3. Give some idea of the services the eGovernance system supplies.
4. What are the current challenges and further plans?

Apple iPod

1. Explain why the Apple iPod was such a successful product.
2. How did Apple manage the introduction of newer models and products?
3. What is Michael Porter's Five Forces Analysis? Apply it to Apple.
4. Identify the successful strands of Apple's business strategy.

Aurora Health Care

1. What was Aurora Health Care set up to do, and what challenges was it facing by the twenty-first century?
2. Use a SWOT analysis to explain the workings of Aurora Health Care.
3. What areas did Aurora Health Care's 2007 Strategic Plan focus on?
4. What elements of Osterwalder and Pigneur's business model seem relevant, and why?

Cisco Systems, Inc.

1. How did Cisco make a success of routers where other companies failed?
2. What threats was Cisco facing in the late 90s, and what measures were adopted?
3. Where did Cisco find the money to implement its innovative measures?
4. Apply the Osterwalder and Pigneur business model to Cisco Systems, Inc. What elements stand out as important?
5. Describe the Cisco management style. What were its pros and cons? 6. Study the Cisco website. How does it equate with the Cisco story?

Commerce Bancorp

1. What has the banking sector generally done to cover acquisition costs? How was Commerce Bancorp different?
2. What are value vectors, and how do they generally evolve with market sector maturity?
3. Given that Commerce Bancorp was eventually taken over by another bank, in what sense was its business strategy successful?
4. What elements of Osterwalder and Pigneur's business model throw light on Commerce Bancorp's strategies?


1. What is Craigslist, and why has it been successful?
2. Apply a SWOT analysis to Craigslist.
3. Do Craigslist sites need a facelift? What would you suggest?

Dell, Inc.

1. Explain the early success of Dell, Inc.
2. How did HP and Apple computers erode Dell's market?
3. What new customer channels did Dell try after 2005, and with what success?
4. Imagine you were a potential computer purchaser visiting the Dell ordering site. What would you encourage you to make a purchase, and what would not?

Early Dotcom Failures

1. Give a brief history of the early dotcom failures.
2. First-mover advantage can be overrated. Discuss.
3. Describe in some detail the history of two failed early ecommerce ventures. With the benefit of hindsight, how would you have saved the companies?
4. Take one of the companies and replace its operations with current technology, including marketing techniques. What would the estimated profit and loss accounts look like?

Easy Diagnosis

1. Explain how Easy Diagnosis works.
2. What is the business model for the service?
3. Your company offers financial services. How would you persuade your boss to adopt the Easy Diagnosis model? Provide a cost benefit study.
4. You're a busy local health authority facing staff cutbacks. How could something like Easy Diagnosis help, in what areas, and how would you start such a project?


1. Briefly describe the seven strategies that have made eBay successful.
2. Which eBay acquisitions were beneficial, and which not?
3. What threats to its business does eBay currently face, and what countermeasures is it taking?

Eneco Energie

1. How did Eneco Energie break into the intense price competition of natural gas sales?
2. Describe the Yokogawa control system.
3. What Internet technologies are employed by the Yokogawa system, and what is the mutual gain to the parties concerned?


1. Explain the situation at Fiat S.p.A.when Sergio Marchionne took over.
2. What was Marchionne's two step approach, and what were the key factors to the success of the first step?
3. Why was Marchionne able to forge better relationships with the trades unions?
4. What Internet technologies contributed to Fiat's recovery?


1. Is Big Pharma's public image as here portrayed either accurate or justified? Would it matter anyway — i.e. does ethics enter into business, and can 'value' become simply 'perceived value'?
2. How did GlaxoSmithKline market their Zantac drug? Why was the marketing important, and what lessons can be learned?
3. Describe GlaxoSmithKline's Patent Pool, and the business model that applies.
4. Give a marketer's view of the Ropinirole promotion.
5. Outline the difficulties current faced by the pharmaceutical industries, and suggest some remedies.

Google Ads

1. Describe in detail how Google Ads now works.
2. How and why did the Google Ads model evolve?
3. What additional features did Google employ to make their service attractive?
4. How do Google Ads tie in with Google AdSense?

Google Services

1. What is Metcalfe's Law, and what has it been superseded by? What is their importance to Google services?
2. Briefly describe ten Google services and explain how Google benefits from them.
3. How does Google get its traffic?
4. Give a reasoned history of Google acquisitions, suggesting the underlying strategy and commenting on the acquisition price.
5. What are the current threats to Google, and how seriously should the company take them?
6. Do you agree with Google's Library Project? Who are the main beneficiaries?


1. Provide a short history of Intel's chip-making activities.
2. How has Intel tried to make the process more efficient?
3. What was the 'Intel Inside' campaign, and how did Intel recoup its expenses? Quantify your answer by looking at microprocessor prices on specialist sites.
4. What legal challenges has Intel faced, and what seems to be its policy here?


1. Explain the Liquidation.Com business model.
2. What Internet marketing techniques did Liquidation employ?
3. How did Liquidation build its brand name?
4. Who are Liquidation's important customers, and how are they secured?

Lotus Notes

1. What is Lotus Notes? How did the program originate?
2. How did the Internet change its fortunes?
3. Outline the versions. What do they show?


1. What are the advantages of Print on Demand?
2. Why has Lulu been more successful than many in this field?

Netflix, Inc.

1. What is streaming video, and what is its appeal?
2. How has Netflix grown its business?
3. What does Netflix tell us about ecommerce generally?
4. Analyze Netflix with the Osterwalder and Pigneur business model.


1. Give a short history of Nespresso.
2. What suggested that Nespresso would be more appropriately marketed to affluent households?
3. What Internet marketing techniques proved successful?
4. What enabled Nespresso to survive so long as a struggling part of the Nestlé empire?
5. Construct a Osterwalder and Pigneur model for the current Nespresso business.


1. Explain the single, most important conclusion to be drawn from the Netscape story?
2. What were the main threats to Netscape, and which proved fatal?
3. Looking at Mozilla successors, what could management have done to better ensure the survival of Netscape?

Nitendo wii

1. What is meant by double-sided platforms? How did this place Nitendo at a disadvantage?
2. Explain how competition forced Nitendo to change its market segments. How did it later exploit the new market segments?
3. Describe the evolution of the wii system.
4. Explore the current marketing efforts of Nitendo. Are they succeeding?

OpenTable.Com, Inc.

1. Provide an account of Open Table.Com, Inc. How does it work?
2. Explain the difficulties in marketing the idea, and how they were solved.
3. Provide a SWOT analysis for Open Table.Com, Inc.

PayPal, Inc.

1. What is PayPal, and how does it work?
2. Describe the three phases of PayPal growth
3. Provide a SWOT analysis for PayPal.
4. How has first mover advantage worked for PayPal?

Proctor & Gamble

1. Describe the extended nature of Procter & Gamble.
2. Which Internet technologies does P&G employ?
3. What is P&G's 'Connect and Develop'. How does it compare with GlaxoSmithKline's 'Patent Pool'?
4. How does P&G relate to its customers? Give an analysis in terms of the Osterwalder and Pigneur business model.
5. How does P&G use social media to strengthen brand awareness?

SIS Datenverarbeitung GmbH

1. Explain the problem SIS Datenverarbeitung GmbH was called upon to solve.
2. Why did Microsoft stop supporting Visual Basic, and what does 'stopped supporting' mean?
3. Describe the steps SIS Datenverarbeitung took in upgrading the ERP system.
4. What lessons can be learned from this case study?


1. What is Skype? How, briefly, does it work?
2. Explain the eBay and Microsoft acquisitions.
3. Provide an appropriate business model for Skype.
4. Where do further opportunities lie for Skype?

Tesco plc

1. Give a brief description of Tesco plc. How does it compare to other leading supermarket chains?
2. What are the two business elements on which Tesco has built its fortune? Provide some details.
3. Provide a Pestel analysis of Tesco plc. What does it show?
4. Give a SWOT analysis of Tesco plc.
5. What does a value chain analysis applied to Tesco show?
6. How has Tesco plc fared outside the UK, and why?


1. Explain the current interest in Twitter.
2. How does Twitter compare with other social media sites?
3. Where does Twitter funding come from, and is the model sustainable?
4. Discuss ways of monetizing Twitter.


1. Provide a short history of Wal-mart.
2. What is the overall business aim of Wal-mart? How is this achieved?
3. Describe the Wal-mart supply chain management system.
4. Why has Wal-mart occasionally been less successful outside the USA?


1. What was the Zappos business model?
2. How did Zappos grow its business?
3. Why was Zappos sold to Amazon? What did each party get from the sale?


1. Give a brief history of Zipcar under its three CEOs.
2. How does the system work now?
3. Provide a SWOT analysis of Zipcar. How do you rate its chances?