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Heidi Roizen Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
757 1314 Words (5 Pages) Nicole Tempest, Kathleen L. McGinn Harvard Business School : 800228
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Heidi a prominent figure and more often seen as a celebrity in technology industry reaps benefits from her well establish personal and professional network. She not only provides advantage to herself but proves to be helpful for others too by leveraging her network. Here it was discussed how Heidi had excelled in technology oriented network by keeping in-touch with her contacts, and the important aspect was how she extended and maintained her deeply rooted network. Her early years of life and the events that transformed her life, and changed her perspective of life were also discussed with her role as an Entrepreneur, as being a top executive at Apple, as a Mentor Capitalist, and finally as a Venture Capitalist.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution:

  1. What are the strengths of Roizen’s network as we see it at the end of the case, The weaknesses?

  2. What specific steps did Roizen take to develop her network, To maintain it?

  3. How does your own network compare with Roizen’s? To what do you attribute any differences you observe?

  4. What suggestions would you give Roizen for adjusting and maintaining her network as she becomes more involved as an Internet venture capitalists?

Heidi Roizen Case Analysis

1. What are the strengths of Roizen’s network as we see it at the end of the case, the weaknesses?

Heidi’s contacts grew in the technology industry because of her commitment to sustain growth of T/Marker (the company she cofounded to compete with the better capitalized software developers). With her exposure to higher management positions, her network expanded automatically. Although she was in contact with very prominent names in the technology industry, but she never trouble them unless she saw mutual benefit for both parties.

One of the strength of her network was that she tried to keep in touch with her contacts and her socializing activities and hosting dinners also played a vital role in extending her social network. Her interest to meet interesting people enabled her to outreach people from media, and was able to maintain a strong relationship with the press. The strength of her network enhanced as she started to establish ties with people who are nuclei of other networks.

The key strength of her network was Heidi herself, her genuine, down-to-earth personality, helpful nature and her role as a mentor capitalist. She contributed her time, and resource to offer value to its network.  She truly believed in mutual benefits and only contributed when she perceived the both parties can benefit from the deal and had a win-win situation. Number of times she provided guidance to recruit professionally fit candidates and referred few within her network to some potential organizations.

In case of Heidi, the downside effect of having large social network was that she couldn’t please everyone and serve them at the same time. There were arrangements that need to be made to priorities work and relationship which may distress feelings of some of her contacts. Her contacts in personal life get affected by the decisions that she had to make due to her commitment in professional life.

2. What specific steps did Roizen take to develop her network, to maintain it?

Building a strong network was a herculean task, but the breadth taking exercise was to maintain it. Heidi remained successful in both expanding her network in the technology industry and to maintain it. One of the key milestones in flourishing her networks were throwing parties and hosting dinner at her place. She was considerate enough to plan guest list in such a way that new people get to meet each other. These dinners not only helped Heidi to expand her existing network but also helped people to make a stronger tie with Heidi.

By empowering her direct staff and giving them authority to do their jobs, Heidi helped to build a long term relationship which resulted in strong bonding and her subordinates tend to seek her advice even after Heidi departed from Apple. Heidi’s selection criteria for keeping people in her network were a bit different, and she only kept those people whom she liked, and they have a passion for achievement. She remained considerate to her network and always tried to offer value to its network, with the help and support that she can provide. In her conversation with her contacts, she always tried to give honest and prompt feedback to maintain a long term relationship.

Heidi tried to recommend only those people who were good at work and could contribute substantially to the company, which developed confidence on Heidi and relationship with her contacts grew even stronger. As a venture capitalist, she always tried to respond back to each proposal that she received for new startups. For Heidi, responding to each plan was more like harnessing relationships with the entrepreneurial community.

3. How does your own network compare with Roizen’s? To what do you attribute any differences you observe?

Considering profile of Heidi, she was born and raised in a technology oriented lifestyle and carried the same entrepreneurial spirit as of her father. After her exposure to some technology driven firms, she finally cofounded T/Marker with her brother, and it proved to be a key milestone that enabled her to grow her network. Considering Heidi’s nature then initially she was gifted to be raised and had exposure to the technology industry and this exposure resulted in molding her decision to remain in the same industry and prove herself.

The important aspect of Heidi’s network is that she carefully chose her friends and select people on the basis of her views about them and her likeness. She kept people close to her by frequently keeping in contact with them, and inviting them on her dinner parties. If dig deep, it’s observed that Heidi’s network was only concentrated in technology firms. She knew famous people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and other related personalities that were from the same technology focused network.

Considering oneself then in compression to Heidi, I have been raised in a different environment with financial security and exposure to almost all industries. I am friend with people from various industries, people from telecom, education, fashion, technology and consultancy. My exposure in contrast to Heidi is bit different. I have very generic network of people while Heidi had concentrated her energies and excel to be only in Technology oriented network. Another difference is that I don’t contact people as often as Heidi does. The important feature is that she kept following her friends and remained aware of their whereabouts, and this gave her an edge to establish strong ties.

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