For teaching purposes, this is the case-only version of the HBR case study. The commentary-only version is reprint R0106Z. The complete case study and commentary is reprint R0106A. Only a few weeks ago, Greg McNally, the CEO of software start-up Data Clear, had called an off-site in Montana to celebrate his company's success in racking up $5 million in sales from its first product, Clear Cloud--a powerful data analysis package. But that was before his talented and successful head of sales, Susan Moskowski, gave him the news about VisiDat, a British start-up that was testing a data analysis package of its own that was only weeks away from launch. We need to agree on a strategy for dealing with this kind of competition, Susan had told Greg. If they start out as a global player, and we stay hunkered down in the U.S., they'll kill us. Because of that news, Greg had changed the agenda of the off-site, instead having Susan present the options for taking Data Clear global. The meeting had taken place two weeks ago, at which point the consensus had been to establish a European presence and probably one in Japan. The only question seemed to be whether to do it from scratch or to form partnerships with local players. Did Data Clear really need to go global? Should it instead expand into different domestic markets? Should it do both at once? Could the company afford to? In R0106A and R0106Z, four commentators offer their advice on this fictional case study.
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