Project 3 – Amazon and Nintendo

In this project, you will read, discuss, and analyze two case studies, one on Amazon and one on Nintendo. You will apply the class discussion and related reading material on disruptive innovation to your analysis. The Amazon and Nintendo cases, and two readings associated with this project are available from a custom (for this course) Harvard Business School case website, see the course materials page (password required, available from the instructor). Please use the following questions to guide your thinking.

  1. What was Amazon.com’s rationale in moving into the infrastructure services business after becoming the “world’s largest bookstore?” Would you say this is consistent with the notion that an organization should stick to its “core competency,” or does it run contrary to it?
  2. What are the four major web services described in the case that are offered by Amazon.com? What does each service do?
  3. Why would a company use these services from Amazon instead of maintaining their own infrastructure? If you were a manager of a large organization (for example, an insurance company), would you use Amazon’s services? What are some potential problems with using these types of hosted services to support mission critical business functions?
  4. Discuss the evolution of the video game industry, particularly in terms of competition and technology.
  5. What does “disruptive technology” mean? What are the principles behind it?  What are the different forms of disruption?
  6. Analyse Nintendo’s disruptive strategy in detail. What are the main features of this strategy that have made the Wii such an overwhelming success? Is Amazon web services following a disruptive strategy or a different business model?
  7. Summarize and integrate your analysis above in a set of no more than 20 PowerPoint slides. Use the main slides to communicate the key points in a succinct and direct manner. You may use the “notes” section on PowerPoint to add more detail and justification. Do not fill the main slides with text.
  8. Please submit the slides electronically on the due date to mandviwa@temple.edu.
  9. Optional: Impress me – post the slides in a creative way on some kind of online forum/tool and email me the link.