The Whistle InterJet (C): The First Internet Appliance for Small-to-Medium Size Businesses

Published 01 Apr 2003
Reference 5091
Region North America
Summary

This case covers a California-based, venture capital-backed start-up Whistle Communications in 1997 as it seeks to overcome sales growth problems in the US through a number of strategic partnerships in Asia. Whistle Communications is the provider of the Interjet, a device that allows a small business to connect to an Internet Service Provider, gives each employee email, surf the web and create an Intranet protected by a rudimentary firewall. In the A-C case, three possible partnerships are considered by Darnaud, Whistle's head of business development.

Teaching objectives

For courses with an entrepreneurship focus, it illustrates the importance of partnership strategies for start-ups. For courses with a focus on business development or strategic alliances, it explores the dynamics of a partnership where both firms seek to exploit existing assets and capabilities. This case could be contrasted with another case in which exploration (or the development of new assets and capabilities) is the primary goal.

Keywords
  • Strategic partnerships
  • International strategy
  • Entrepreneurial value
  • Japanese partnership