1. What did e-ink do right?
a. Vision and market opportunity - Realizing potential of radio paper technology for a 80B market b. Ability to pivot and re-focus and their last pivot to focus on one market segment i.e. paper like graphical display for e-readers c. Assembled a great team that has leaders who can vision, raise capital, and have industry contacts and experience to run a business d. Ability to change course and partner with others (Philips, Toppan and Intel) when needed 2. What did e-ink do wrong?
a. Underestimated the efforts required to stabilize technology and hence their ability to forecast manufacturing cost b. Pursuit of multiple market opportunities initially in segmented and graphical display market rather than focusing on one market impacted execution and focus c. Underestimated technical hurdles and challenges to apply technology in particular application area like signage or e-readers d. Timing of IPO in 2000 didn’t work out well to raise more capital and spend more on R&D 3. If you led e-ink what market would you have targeted? My 4 steps strategy would have been following to license technology initially and build products eventually. a. Focus on R&D to create a stable technology for black and while display using initial funding of 16M and 40M b. Create e-ink as a platform that can be licensed and supplied to others in value chain to create products in segmented and graphical display market to use capital efficiently, get revenue, and minimize risk by focusing on core technology strength and let others hedge on markets to develop c. Invest R&D in developing faster, stable, flexible and more colorful display e-ink technology d. Offer products and assemble complete display module in application area like military camouflage, nautical navigation, display embedded in smart cards, e-book, wrist watches, mobile phones, digital photo frame, information board,...
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