The case describes the fast-paced evolution of E-Greetings Networks, located in San Francisco, California. In 1994, the company’s business model was based on the sale of paper cards via a catalog that was distributed on a CDROM, along with merchandise from other retailers. In 1995, the company launched its first online stores on AOL and the World Wide Web and in 1997, the company offered a digital greeting product on AOL called “Card-O-Matic.” Later in 1997, the company moved its store from AOL to its own independent site and charged a nominal fee to deliver a card to a specific email address. In 1998 the company experimented by offering free digital greeting cards sponsored by an advertiser and later migrated from a “paid” to “sponsored” business model. In March 1999, Gordon Tucker, the company’s new CEO was planning to take E-Greetings Networks public and was preparing for interviews with investment bankers. He knew that the bankers would be asking him when the company would be profitable.
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