By Erik Brynjolfsson, Jean-Claude Charlet
1998 | Case No. OIT21
In 1997, BroadVision was a young, relatively small company that developed software that allowed Internet-based businesses to gather information about their online customers and deliver customized information to these customers. The firm was founded in 1993, going public in 1996. The case discusses the role of “rules-based systems” in delivering personalized information directly to the customer, enabling one-to-one marketing on the Internet. Trust and privacy issues related to the use of this “mass-customization” technology are discussed. Related personalization technologies, such as collaborative filtering, are also discussed. Finally, the case explores the company’s growth strategy and business model as it competed with much larger and more well-established companies such as Microsoft, Netscape, and Oracle. (An accompanying Technology Note provides additional information on BroadVision’s rules-based system.
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