Ivey Publishing
The Fish Whisperer
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Publication Date:
Revised Date:
12 pages (7 pages of text)
Product Type:
Case (Gen Exp)
This case depicts the start-up and business development challenges faced by a streetwise entrepreneur who has invented a unique fishing rod. The capabilities necessary to invent, prototype, and bring to market a limited quantity of product versus the challenges of larger-scale commercialization and management of a growing business are illustrated. The case primarily addresses why some entrepreneurial ventures succeed and grow while others stay insignificant, and why a majority of entrepreneurial initiatives eventually fail. Indigenous constructs such as entrepreneur- and organization-specific factors and exogenous constructs such as industry, location, and time-specific factors that may predetermine the outcome of an entrepreneurial venture are illustrated. A business plan, which has attracted angel investment, is presented for critical assessment. The case’s background story shows that all businesses face resource constraints and trade-offs and that managers must continuously adapt and upgrade their business models, competencies, and management styles to match evolving market standards.
Learning Objective:
Instructors will find this case useful in courses on entrepreneurship, management, and small business management.

The case realistically illustrates the challenges faced by a typical streetwise entrepreneur in the start-up and growth stages. Obstacles such as financial and human resources, spatiotemporal constraints, industry type, and seasonality effects are presented. A business plan, which has attracted an angel investor, presents students with the opportunity to identify how even successful and seasoned investors may be misled by a creative presentation.

The question of why some entrepreneurial businesses succeed and grow into large-scale corporations and others stay small or fail is addressed by using Churchill & Lewis’s five stages of small business growth model. Business and management challenges faced by the entrepreneur in the existence, survival, and growth lifecycle stages are shown.
General Management/Strategy,  Operations Management,  Organizational Behaviour/Leadership,  Entrepreneurship
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
United States, Small, 2011
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$3.75 CAD / $3.75 USD Digital Download
Associated Materials
Translations: Simplified Chinese (16 pages)
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