VC Vignettes

By Christopher Flanagan, John Glynn Jr.
2001 | Case No. E93

These are three fictional vignettes that each highlight selected challenging issues that venture capitalists are faced with from time to time. In the first vignette, “The Product’s Great, but Nobody’s Buying,” seasoned venture capitalist Tom Ingram is confronted with the fact that SCM Software, one of his firm’s young portfolio companies, is unable to sell its key, beta-tested product. Time is critical and Tom needs to gather information in order to determine why the product is not selling and map out a course of action to fix the problem. He also needs to develop consensus at the board level about what action should be taken. At the end of the vignette, Tom’s task becomes even more complicated when an SCM employee suggests that the CEO’s incompetence is partially responsible for the SCM’s sales problems.

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