Case Studies

This listing contains abstracts and ordering information for case studies written and published by faculty at Stanford GSB.

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Pedro M. Gardete

Maria Almaden was considering the launch of a new business that would use traditional cheesemaking techniques to produce high-quality vegan cheese. Eager though she was to embark on her new endeavor, she first had to...

Pedro M Gardete, Debra Schifrin

In 2003, the tiny start-up Orb came up with a breakthrough technology. Through its software, every type of media on a PC (including music, photos, and videos) could be streamed remotely to any mobile device...

Jennifer Aaker, Stephany Yong, Jessica Dodson

This 2016 case describes how Bare Escentuals used innovative product design and marketing to transform itself from a local San Francisco retailer into one of the leading cosmetic companies in the United States. In 1995,...

Jennifer Aaker, Debra Schifrin

In 2015, Federica Marchionni left her position as the president of the high fashion company Dolce & Gabbana USA to become the CEO of Lands’ End.  She came with a mandate to drive the $1.4...

Jennifer Aaker, Stephany Yong, Jessica Dodson, Tina Sharkey, Dane Howard

This case describes how eBay Inc. CEO John Donahoe, leading a multibillion-dollar global technology company in a highly competitive and changing environment, embraced design thinking as a key ingredient of culture change and a catalyst...

S. Christian Wheeler, Andrew Malcolm

At the end of 2011, Microsoft was closing its acquisition of Skype for $8.5 billion.  Skype had more than 500 million registered users, revenue exceeded $600 million, and the company accounted for 40 percent of...

Wasim Azhar, Marc Fetscherin

In January 2016, Mr. Tahir Raza Mian, Assistant Sales and Marketing Manager at the Avari Hotel Lahore (until 1994 known and operated as the Avari Lahore Ramada Renaissance Hotel), was concerned about the average room...

Baba Shiv, David Hoyt

Atmel Corporation is a manufacturer of semiconductors (chips).  It is an engineering-driven business-to-business company, and prior to 2012 its marketing was largely limited to preparation of specifications, launching new products, and trade shows.  In 2012,...

Harikesh Nair, Sheila Melvin

Qihoo 360 Technology Company was a leading Internet platform company in China, the number one provider of Internet and mobile security products as measured by user base. The company entered China’s fiercely competitive Internet market...

Harikesh Nair, Allan Thygesen, Jaclyn Foroughi

In late September 2014, Facebook, the world’s largest social network, announced the launch of Atlas, an ad serving and measurement platform that would allow advertisers to target ads to real people using Facebook’s unique user...

Harikesh Nair, Allan Thygesen, Jaclyn Foroughi

In April 2007, Google, one of the world’s largest online publishers, announced that it was acquiring DoubleClick, a technological platform for online advertisers and publishers, for $3.1 billion. At the time, the deal marked the...

Laura Hattendorf, Michael Kennedy, Laurent de Clara, Yin Li

The case follows Jim and Debbie Aung-Din Taylor, an American couple with backgrounds in international development, as they found and build Proximity Designs, a social enterprise in Myanmar. Initially, the Taylors are focused on redesigning...

Jonathan Levav, Jason Luther

Waze successfully developed a free smartphone mapping application that gave consumers turn-by-turn directions and real-time traffic data. This digital map compiled driver-generated data from Waze’s community of users to relay constantly updated information on conditions...

Harikesh Nair, David Hoyt

In 2013 and 2014, eBay deployed several sets of large, interactive touch screens and related technologies in shopping malls and retail stores. These “connected technologies” were used in a variety of ways intended to benefit...

Jennifer Aaker, Patricia Mason

Avenues the World School, an international private school with around 20 campuses in cities around the world, was designed to be the “learning community of the future” that used technology to connect students, professionals, and...

Robert Chess, Jason Luther

International healthcare and reimbursement systems underwent a radical transformation in the 2000s, resulting from growing financial pressures incited by economic depression and a steady rise in healthcare spending. This phenomenon was most pronounced in the...

Yin Li, Howard Rosen, Stephen Ciesinski

Entrepreneurs seeking to start companies in developing economies face significant human resource challenges. Before embarking on their ventures, entrepreneurs should articulate a talent management strategy that describes how they will source, identify, screen, and manage...

Maryanna Quigless, Jonathan Levav

In March 2012 the founders of Qualtrics sat together in the Provo, Utah, office of advisor Duff Thompson. They stared down one of the toughest decisions in the ten-year history of the company. Thompson and...

Jonathan Levav, Joshua Rauh, Jason Luther

“Raise money when times are good.” Kevin Hartz mulled over this expression as he examined the term sheet before him. The CEO had become somewhat of a masterful fundraiser. Since founding the online event and...

Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, Sarah Murray

On joining the Gap Foundation, Bobbi Silten saw an opportunity to tie Gap Inc.’s philanthropic strategy more closely to its business interests, expertise, people, and assets. When looking at the communities from which it sourced...