Aviron Interactive Inc.: Bootstrapping a Gamification Fitness Startup
(9 pages of text)
In 2016, Toronto entrepreneur Andy Hoang was working to launch a new business, Aviron Interactive Inc., a developer and marketer of interactive rowing machines that would use gamification to allow users to work out with others through a virtual connection and an innovative, remotely-activated resistance adjustor. Hoang wanted to create the new business by wrapping an outsourced services model around a central core that included the key business insight, key differentiating product and technology features, and the leadership of a founding team. The other elements required of a startup—engineering, product design, product development, software coding, testing, quality assurance, marketing, sales, and so on—would be outsourced to various niche suppliers, and the central core would oversee the governance of the supplier portfolio. Hoang knew the company would be competing with similar video-based rowing machines as well as indoor rowing apps. He had a limited budget and wanted to design, develop, and launch the product quickly, to stay ahead of his competition. Would a traditional business model or a lean, agile model be best for this project?
This case has been designed for use in finance courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. It can be used in strategy courses to discuss valuation, and in both corporate strategy and information technology courses to illustrate innovation, outsourcing issues, and corporate governance. The case will have broad appeal for a variety of information systems courses. Specifically, it can be used to address the topics of long-tail markets, agile versus waterfall methods for software development, and the lean approach to business.
After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:
- Compare and contrast the traditional product design and development path and a lean, agile approach.
- Define gamification, and explain its role in product development.
- Outline the advantages and disadvantages of a long-tail talent sourcing strategy.
Information, Media & Telecommunications
Canada; Vietnam; China, Small, 2016
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