Case Study No. 2
Visualize This (VT) is a small start-up company specializing in virtual reality and computer visualizations. Located in the research park of a major university, the company was founded by Isaac Trice, a university professor, and staffed with the brightest of his former students. By all accounts the technology is cutting edge. Facilities include a lab of 14 high-end computer workstations adjacent to a CAVE (computer-aided virtual environment) and a small office. A conference room and central lobby are shared with other tenants in the building. Originally the company had partnered with the Swedish firm Salvania to create virtual environments for medical and industrial design. Trice and his staff would develop the software for each application; create a visual database supported with engineering or medical data, and run design sessions for their clients in the CAVE. Salvania provided the capital, generated the clients, and handled the business end of the operations.
In its first two years of business, VT completed four projects. With each project, VT advanced its skills in visualization and developed customized tools to help its clients design intricate products. The clients were pleased but did not anticipate repeating the intensive design process for several years. Unfortunately, Salvania was unable to remain solvent and dissolved its partnership with Visualize This. VT was able to keep its workstations (whose salvage value was low), but gave up its rights to the CAVE and furloughed all but three employees. To stay afloat, VT needed new clients and a steady stream of income. Trice hit the streets and came back with the following possibilities: • Designing computer-based training sessions for bank tellers of an international finance institution • Conducting software certification for the sales staff of a large software vendor • Designing virtual reality tours through history for a major museum • Developing Web-based...
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