The study of the Zipcar case provided this reader with two especially worthwhile insights. These will be detailed below, with some ideas on how they have proved illuminating.
One interesting thing which seemed to stand out was the way in which the business was planned. Planning a strategy prior to doing anything practical seemed to take a long time, and much effort, especially when it came to identifying potential markets and competitors. The two months spent modelling prices and costs was key to the whole process of starting up a new business. It reinforced the notion that however good an idea is, and however much an entrepreneur might think that they have planned things as thoroughly as possible, there is always something else to refine and prepare properly. This is a very useful lesson for anyone who remains relatively unaware of the problems faced by new businesses.
Additionally, it was also striking that previous contacts from earlier jobs in the entrepreneur’s career proved to be important in finding funding and initial investment for the project. As well as maintaining earlier contacts and how important they proved to be for the project, it was also striking how the project moved through several different funding phases. While initial start-up funds of $50,000 were found, it was then also necessary to find additional funds for later stages of the project. This reinforced the idea that success in any kind of business requires tenacity and courage, as well as persistence. Funding is only acquired through hard work and it should never be taken for granted by any bidding entrepreneur.
These two factors, intense and focused strategic planning, and the tenacity and imagination often required to secure funding, will certainly inform later thinking when it comes to considering and planning later projects.