Case Detail

Case Summary

Start A Fire: Creating Value and Growth

Case Number: 5-418-756, Year Published: 2019

HBS Number: KE1151

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Key Concepts

advertising, business marketing, entrepreneurship, innovation, market analysis, marketing strategy, pricing strategy, product development, R&D, strategic positioning


Armed with a patent on technology that allowed users to modify existing websites and then provide access to the improved versions, Oded Golan and his startup cofounder had turned an idea born in Golan's Tel Aviv apartment into a business that had raised $3.5 million in venture capital funding and now served more than 3,000 of the world's biggest brands. Turning their technology into a profitable business had been quite challenging for the entrepreneurs, however. Over the course of four years, they had launched several products serving several different customer segments, continually chasing the goal of sustainable profits and growth. In 2017, they received the news that their much-needed second round of financing had fallen through. With only $350,000 left in the company's bank account, the founders needed to act fast once more to save their business. Students will explore Start A Fire's monetization strategies and experimentation with different product types in the founders' effort to create value from their patented technology. The case also illustrates how a firm's choice of customer segment affects its strategy.

Learning Objectives

After reading and discussing the case, students will be able to understand the challenges a young firm faces when entering a market with high fixed costs and a low-margin business mode; formulate monetization strategies for young firms and their effect on the tradeoff between value creation and value capture; and develop growth strategies for a young firm with a revolutionary technology in which buyers are large firms with strong market power, among other learning objectives.

Number of Pages: 16

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Strategy

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: Tel Aviv, Israel

Industry: Technology

Organization Name: Start A Fire

Organization Size: Small

Decision Maker Position: Startup co-founder

Decision Maker Gender: Male