Henry Tam and MGI Team (Section I)
Henry Tam is an MBA student at the Harvard Business School (“HBS”) who was looking for a challenging business project to enter the upcoming Harvard Business School Business Contest. After searching several business projects he decided to join hands with the Music Games International (“MGI”) founders and utilize their business plan as part of the school’s competition. MGI is a small entity, which was founded by three unique individuals. Two of the founders (Igor Tkachenko and Roman Yukab) are internationally accomplished musicians and composers. The third founder (Alexandra (Sasha) Gimpelson) is a 1987 MBA graduate from HBS. Other MGI members include Dana Soiman (HBS MBA student), Dav Clark (MIT graduate student), and Alexandar Jan Sartakov (Boston Berklee College Music Business Management and Music Production and Engineering student). The founders are all Russians who are trying to create, produce, and sell a unique computer-based music game where through the game play user can both learn and enjoy music. Within a short time frame these diverse members assembled to compose a business plan for the company. MGI’s Founders believe. The product should be marketed as a game and want to focus on the entertainment market while the HSB student believes it should be marketed toward the education industry. Also, the team struggles to identify their responsibilities, define their roles, make decisions together, and resolve conflicts. Arguments and tension started to build as the team produced a variety of ideas about how to promote their product, but had difficulty agreeing on which ideas to pursue. The team had very little success in working together. Discussion
MGI appears to be an excellent company and their software music product seems to have great potential. In addition, the team is comprised of diverse members who share a strong commitment to the Business, and the founders of the company have a strong passion on their product. To completely understand MGI and provide recommendations as to working effectively, we will start by analyzing the issues that MGI has experienced. There are numerous issues building within the MGI team from the very start. Provided below is a breakdown of our understanding of MGI and its internal issues. * The MGI founders (Sasha Gimpelson, Igor Tkachenko, and Roman Yakub) are all Russians whose vision is to target their product towards the entertainment industry. The HBS students believe that the product has a greater chance of success towards the education industry. This indicates that there is a strong disagreement in terms of the company’s vision for the product between the founders and HBS students. * The product just missed a Christmas holiday season. The founders believe the product lacked a focus on sales. This is a clear sign the MGI team needs skills to appropriately promote their product. * There are various differences between the MGI founders. Igor and Roman are from Ukraine. They’re both creative and established international musicians but lack business skills. Sasha is from Russia and is considered the primary business person because he is a college graduate with business acumen and finance skills. * MGI’s student team includes: Henry Tam (HBS MBA student with experience in investments); Dana Soiman (HBS MBA student with experience in banking); Alex Jan Sartakov (Boston Barklee College Music student); and Dav Clark (joins the team in the third meeting and is an MIT graduate student with experience in software development and music). * Henry and Dana believe Sasha has a tendency to jump from ideas to ideas, and seems unclear. Also, Sasha’s resume indicated that he has limited accomplishments since he has jumped from industry-to-industry. * The MGI founders share a different viewpoint for the HSB students. Igor considers Dana and Henry a critical part of MGI’s success while Sasha is thinking of the students as...
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