Each group should pick two out of the seven short projects from the list below. The specific case study chosen should be cleared with the instructor so that we get a diversity of cases. The first group to choose a particular topic number and case study for that topic will be given priority.
Outcome: Each of the two short projects will result in an approximately 5-page written report on the WWW linked to your group homepage. Each report should have references to other resources, such as trade magazine articles (with WWW links where available), company or product homepages, etc.
Due date: The two short project reports are due March 9 and April 6. 75% credit will be given for reports up to one week late, and 50% credit for reports more than one week late. See class schedule.
1. Analyze one company/product line w.r.t. how it is complementary/competitive with other products in the industry and the factors in its success/failure.
2. Analyze a group of companies with complementary products, in terms of how they collaborate to maintain compatibility etc.
3. Analyze an industry consortium in terms of its effectiveness and its impact on the industry it serves.
4. Analyze one important patent in terms of the effectiveness with which it has been protected
and the impact it has had on competition in the industry.
Example: TI basic IC patent
5. For one narrow product category, examine the patents relevant to that category (say using the IBM patent database) and analyze how easy or difficult it would be for a new company to compete in this category without licensing arrangements.
Example: Internet telephony
6. Identify one software patent and analyze its effectiveness in creating a competive advantage for the company that owns it. Also assess whether this patent is of high quality; i.e. useful and novel.
7. For a standards war currently being waged, analyze the strategies of the competing approaches and predict the outcome based on considerations discussed in this course.
Example: CDMA, TDMA, GSM for digital cellular telephony
Study one topic covered in this course in greater detail. Read and assimilate
at least five scholarly (not trade magazine) papers on this topic, and prepare
a summary report that treats this topic in greater detail than this class.
Include case studies of actually industry products or firms that illustrate
these effects. Topics covered by reports in this course last year are off
limits (see list).
Example: Vertical integration vs diversification
Outcome: The outcome will be a web written report approximately 20 pages long linked to your group homepage.
Due date: The long project report is due May 11. 75% credit will be given for reports up to one week late, and 50% credit for reports more than one week late. I would urge each group to get started on the long project early! See class schedule.