The case examines the focus of an early stage company, and how venture capital can distort a founder's view. It encompasses issues such as financing, founders' definition of success/failure, defining and pivoting a business model, organizational impact of a pivot, as well as the role of VCs and Boards in outlining company strategy. In 2008, Jason Jacobs, a fitness and technology enthusiast created RunKeeper - an iPhone app to track a runner's distance, speed, calories and route taken. In its initial years, RunKeeper was a fast growing, profitable company and did not utilize the $1.5 million it raised in its Seed and Series A rounds. As RunKeeper gained momentum, Jacobs created a grand health vision (Health Graph) that would increase the chances of securing VC funding. Heralded as the "Facebook of Fitness," RunKeeper willed itself to be the one-stop location for all important health information for consumers. Despite raising $10 million, the next few years were turbulent. RunKeeper became allergic to revenue, ramped up its burn, and tried to pursue both the running app and the Health Graph - but did neither well. At the end of the case, the company is almost out of cash, and Jacobs has exhausted his prospects for raising external capital. He needs to revert to his current investors to keep the company afloat. Jacobs' instinct suggests that refocusing the company on its core product and runner base would be the best way forward. However, the last round was raised on the promise of a big health vision. Jacobs wonders whether his current investors would fund a smaller vision and how onerous the terms would be. Would they push Jacobs to pursue a sale in an over-crowded health app market? Or would they decide that he was not the right person for the company?
- 2018 HBS
Choosing a Book Format
EPUB is the standard publishing format used by many e-book readers including iBooks, Easy Reader, VoiceDream Reader, etc. This is the most popular and widely used format.
DAISY format is used by GoRead, Read2Go and most Kurzweil devices.
Audio (MP3) format is used by audio only devices, such as iPod.
Braille format is used by Braille output devices.
DAISY Audio format works on DAISY compatible players such as Victor Reader Stream.
Accessible Word format can be unzipped and opened in any tool that supports .docx files.