Case 2: Intuit
1.)Your textbook on page 19 makes a reference to the fact that most entrepreneurs learn about cash flow, marketing, human resources after they have those problems. Comment on how Scott Cook seemed to address these issues?
Cash flow, marketing, and human resources are arguably the three most important parts of building a business, and are often lessons business owners misunderstand in the real world. It should be blatantly obvious that these three concepts are cyclic and rely on one another to survive. It seems that Scott Cook saw how each aspect of business owning relied on the other and how all three components needed to work ...view middle of the document...
His cash flow ideas were safe: an inexpensive product that anyone can use, loyal average priced labor, small expenses, and no investments in risky technology. By keeping it simple he was able to keep cash flow smooth.
His marketing success is less of his own doing and more of the product being a great product. Back in 1986 Cook invested the companies earnings of $125,000 to have an ad campaign to finally push his product into the public sphere. However, as the years proceeded and the case revealed the marketing success of the product was based upon “word of mouth” strategies. A 1990’s survey showed that 47% who had purchased the product had heard about it from a friend or colleague (30). The Intuit team also relies on market research and customer feedback to bring Intuit to the next level. Cook and his team understand that through market research and customer outreach will they are able to understand what the client needs. Once they understand their current clients then they will have the tools to attract a larger client base. His marketing success really goes back to him developing a wonderful product and backing it with an ambitious team. He grasped the concept: if it is a good product the customer will come.
Finally, Cook prides himself on stacking his company with good people. You can have the best product in the world and a ton of money but unless you have good people to back it up you truly have nothing. Intuit’s key value is “Customers define quality” this ideal drives the human resources at Intuit. With programs like “follow you home” and “lunch with a dork” Intuit is ahead of the curve with customer service. According to the companies website they employ nearly 8,500 employees and still make it a huge point to hire people who are able to connect with customers and think strategically to better the company. One particularly interesting aspect of Intuit is the idea that every employee must work the customer service lines. This keeps all of the employees aware of what people are having the most trouble with and have a basic understanding of dealing with customers. Most importantly it maintains a strong team/family relationship among the employees.
2.) How important are ethics to the entrepreneur for your reading of this case and the text (page 26)? Discuss any experience you may have or can foresee.
Ethics are such a huge part of starting, maintaining, and being a part of a business. So many times we hear about Wall Street execs cutting corners or being fraudulent. But who could blame them? Promises of money or resources could sound great on the surface, especially when you have nothing. Many business owners cave and believe there are no alternatives except for these shady deals. Cook says, “When you’re staring straight at the shame of failure, your values are challenged each week by the promises you make” (34). Every time an entrepreneur twists the numbers or covers something up they are essentially destroying their own...