The benefit of free MBA labor…

April 14, 2007

Check out the first post on working with Cornell MBAs at Working with Cornell MBAs

The work we did with the Cornell MBAs during the fall semester went really well. Seth and I were very pleased with their work and their dedication to creating and administering the retail survey they created. They reached out to numerous Cornell (Johnson School of Management) MBA alumni and received some very interesting feedback and responses. It was very helpful in helping us re-evaluate our strategies to go after large retail merchants and gave us additional insights for what large retailers are looking for in a service/product like ours.

Based on our positive experience working with the MBAs up at Cornell, We have decided to apply again for a new project with a new team of MBAs for the spring semester. This past semester, we’ve engaged a couple MBAs to work with us on a research project that will survey various kinds of Internet advertisers and marketers to solicit feedback on what they are using and any interest they might have in trying out our service. They have been doing a great job so far, reaching out to many more internet merchants and marketers through the use of on-line press releases (you can view it at http://www.prleap.com/pr/71900/) and reaching out to various blogs and bloggers across cyberspace to post links to the survey. In only a short time-span, they’ve managed to get approximately 40 survey respondents!! We are hoping to see trends in the data that will support initiatives to build-out our advertising service and validation that merchants actually need something better and are willing to give us a try.

There’s nothing better than hiring smart MBAs to do pro bono work for our business as we try to keep costs down and mitigate a lot of our market risks by doing our homework (surveys etc.). This is the essence of bootstrapping, and we’re getting pretty good at it. The MBAs are doing a great job, and we may even hire one of them to do paid consulting work for us in the future because she is doing such a great job on this project. All we can say is that we hope our hypotheses are proven true by the data we collect and that we can build an ad-serving technology that will appeal to the savvier marketers for online merchants. We’ll keep you posted…

JT

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