TM Compre Questions February 2005

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Part 1. Answer the following questions thoroughly.

1. A leading global company that develops and markets software for emerging business processes, such as supply chain management (SCM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and customer relations management (CRM), is currently developing a new wireless infrastructure management application that is meant to improve customer relations, manage ales channels and reduce transaction costs.

You have been commissioned to assess this new technology, in the context of the firm’s current competencies and resources, and to recommend appropriate strategies that would ensure that the company maintains its leadership position in the industry.

a. What theories and concepts of technology management should you use to guide your assessment?
b. What aspects of corporate operation should you investigate in order to make an accurate and realistic assessment of the situation facing the company?
c. Based on your answers to a and b above, what strategies should you recommend?

2. Late 2004, the team led by Burt Rutan and Paul Allen claimed the $10M Ansari X – price for successfully sending SpaceshipOne to the edge of outer space twice within two weeks. Immediately, the billionaire Richard Branson of Virgin Air announced that he would start a space tourism business with a projected cost of $200, 000 per person for a trip to the edge of space. In January of this year, Jeff Bezos of, who is also keenly interested in space exploration, announced that he would also like to start a similar venture in space tourism. His space venture, based in his 165,000-acre ranch in Texas, is called Blue Origin and aims to launch its first flight in seven years.

Pretend that you were contacted by Jeff Bezos to make the plan for his space tourism venture. Assume that Bezos is in this project for the long haul and has the financial capacity (he is worth several billion dollars after all) to see the project through.

a. Describe the activities that you will carry out to write a strategic plan (ten years) for Bezos’ new business venture.
b. Discuss the main components of your plan without going too deeply (you cannot, you do not have a project team yet) but providing sufficient insights as to what your project team should work out.
c. What expertise do you need in our project team to write a plan?
d. Discuss the time frames of your plan (assume that short term is one year and mid term is three years) and the important activities for each period. Note that the first launch is on the seventh year. What is/are the milestone(s) of each period?
e. What technologies must you watch out for?
f. What forecasting methods must you use in the various time frames?
g. Since there are other groups that are interested in space adventure, what possible private-private collaboration can be undertaken by the competing groups?
h. Discuss the possible role of the public sector (US government) to make this venture fly.
i. At the end of the ten years, what factors must Bezos consider to make a decision on whether to continue the venture or not? If you think Bezos must get out the business, what are the possible exit strategies he may consider?

Part 2. Choose one from the items below and answer thoroughly.

3. What factors should be considered by a company when it is faced with the problem of deciding whether or not to acquire a disruptive (emerging) process technology?

4. Technology is not just hardware, nor a set of arrangements that enable a technology to operate (Pacey, 1987). Technology should be viewed as a system that utilizes scientific and other knowledge to practical applicants that involve people and organization, living things and machines.

Choose a technology you are familiar with and discuss the implications of Pacey’s viewpoint.

5. Should you decide to put up your own technology-based venture,

a. What are the various external sources of funds that you may tap for your initial and subsequent financial needs? Explain the advantages and disadvantages of getting funds from each of those sources.
b. If you were made to choose by the financier between debt and equity financing, what factors would you consider in making your decision? Explain the pros and cons of debt and equity financing from your point-of-view as the entrepreneur.

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