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15.390: Cachet aka Akamai. Opportunities in the Internet Age. The Team. One Professor, One PhD student, One Sloan 1 st year, and several advisors Very Technical and very Academic? Very smart, driven and aggressive? Not much market knowledge. Good domain knowledge getting better every day.

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15.390: Cachet aka Akamai

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15.390: Cachet aka Akamai

Opportunities in the Internet Age


The Team

  • One Professor, One PhD student, One Sloan 1st year, and several advisors

  • Very Technical and very Academic?

  • Very smart, driven and aggressive?

  • Not much market knowledge.

  • Good domain knowledge getting better every day.


The Idea

  • Big, hairy problem to solve.

  • Current solutions expensive and inadequate.

  • Not a technology looking for a problem.


The Opportunity

  • Who are the customers?

  • What will we sell them?

  • What is our clear value proposition?

  • What is the optimal business model?

  • How do we size the opportunity?


Opportunity Assessment

  • Talk to experts and stake-holders.

  • Talk to customers.

  • Look at the current market and size what exists today.

  • Take the leap to estimate the size of your market segment both top down and bottoms up.


Sizing the Market

  • Cache team looked at current hosting and isp market

  • They looked at current systems players serving the market

  • They established boundaries for their market segment

  • They established comparables for their company.

  • They used comparables data to estimate their revenue based on units shipped, pricing, and costs associated with building the products and the business.


Development of the Plan

  • There is no substitute for knowledge of the customers, market, and competition.

  • Start with the hypothesis that you are on to a major market opportunity.

  • Prove the hypothesis.

  • Make sure you have the back-up data and solid assumptions.


The Competition

  • Know your enemy well.

  • Choose your competitors carefully.

  • Define your market segment.

  • Establish the rules of engagement.


Cache Lessons Learned

  • Why did Cache lose out in the $50k competition?

  • Did it matter?

  • What lessons can we learn from Cache’s experience?

  • What did Cache do in its early stages to lay the groundwork for the success of Akamai?


Cache Success Factors

  • Team

  • Technology

  • Product/Service

  • Market Positioning

  • Funding

  • Execution


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