Topcoder Case Study

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If you were a senior manager at TopCoder, what are the main capabilities you would need to develop to succeed at running the firm? Are these capabilities similar or unique from managing a more traditional firm

In order to develop and execute the highly non-traditional business approach and vision of TopCoder, the senior management has to regularly challenge existing industry practices and innovate better methodologies to improve the quality of deliverables to the client.

1. Since the business model for TopCoder is highly reliant upon participation from the develop community they need to keep a continuous track of the activities in their forum and need to devise the competition in such a way that it attracts more and more better quality coders. To make this happen, the senior management has to develop high level of marketing skills so that they can promote their product and keep the coders interested.

2. The main challenge which company faces is that though the customers are getting high quality defect free products in a short span of time they are usually suspicious of the product quality since they do not have any relationships and in person/on call interaction with the developer community. Due to this suspicious outlook of the customers, the management needs to have high level of negotiation and convincing skills so that they can keep the customers.

3. Software product requires regular maintenance and updation after certain period of time and thus vendor selection for development is a long term investment. Now, the customer knows that the developer community of TopCoder is usually interested in complexity of the competition and intellectually challenging tasks and thus the top coders in the community might not take up such tasks. Thus, it becomes very important for TopCoder management to keep the clients interested.

4. The TopCoder community is innovation and competition driven, thus managing innovative and creative people who can be...
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