Click the Study Aids tab at the bottom of the book to access your Study Aids (usually practice quizzes and flash cards).
Study Pass is our latest digital product that lets you take notes, highlight important sections of the text using different colors, create "tags" or labels to filter your notes and highlights, and print so you can study offline. Study Pass also includes interactive study aids, such as flash cards and quizzes.
Highlighting and Taking Notes:
If you've purchased the All Access Pass or Study Pass, in the online reader, click and drag your mouse to highlight text. When you do a small button appears – simply click on it! From there, you can select a highlight color, add notes, add tags, or any combination.
If you've purchased the All Access Pass, you can print each chapter by clicking on the Downloads tab. If you have Study Pass, click on the print icon within Study View to print out your notes and highlighted sections.
To search, use the text box at the bottom of the book. Click a search result to be taken to that chapter or section of the book (note you may need to scroll down to get to the result).
View Full Student FAQs
14.1 Investment Decisions
Making the right investment decision on the right projects and the right products at the right time is a combination of having the right information, intuition, and luck. As Figure 14.1 "Critical Organizational Activities During Business Life Cycle" illustrates if there is a process in place for differentiation and new product development, then the decline of the business may be alleviated. There are choices and decisions to be made related to populating the product and project portfolio. These are the critical investment decisions that the entrepreneur has to make. Figure 14.2 "Risk Is Inherent as You Get Closer to the Top" illustrates that the potential profitability is greater as you climb up the inverted pyramid, but there are also greater levels of risk and uncertainty toward the top. All businesses face the following investment decisions while climbing the reward pyramid:
Figure 14.1 Critical Organizational Activities During Business Life Cycle
Figure 14.2 Risk Is Inherent as You Get Closer to the Top
- Maintenance decision: They can maintain their current investment in products, projects, machines, and technologies. This also takes into account investment to deal with depreciation. This is the maintain option. The goal of the maintain strategy is to keep current customers with existing products and services. Learning-about and learn-by-doing are maintained at current levels.
Growth decision: They have the option to invest a little or a lot in new products, projects, machines, and technologies. There is a step-up in learning-about and learning-by-doing. This is the growth option and it includes a number of approaches:
- Differentiate by scaling-up existing product line. Scaling up your investment and investing even more. For example, adding features for Midas customers and acquiring new Hermes customers on the existing demand curve.
- Differentiate by scoping-up and developing complementary products for existing product line.
- Differentiate by scoping-up and developing new products that are not part of the existing demand curve.
- Differentiate by switching-up the growth path. A switching-up decision incorporates both growth and abandonment options. When a company makes a switch-up decision, it may discard previous investments and take a different path for growth based on the capabilities accumulated from the previous investments. It typically concerns a switch of input, output, or location. For example, instead of using technology A, a firm may use technology B to produce the same thing. Instead of using the current machine to produce product X, a firm may produce product Y (cf. flexible manufacturing system). A company can switch among locations for research and development, manufacturing, distribution, and so forth.
- Develop new Blue Ocean market. This involves scaling-up, scoping-up, and switching-up. This can be a substitute product that competes with an existing line.
- Abandon decision: They have the option to abandon investing in new or existing products, projects, machines, and technologies. The abandon strategy relates to the inadequacy of the current business model and the need to bail.
- Postpone decision: They can defer investing in a product or a technology until a later date. Some investment might occur in the form of monitoring and very early exploratory work. The major investment includes learning-about in the form of search and synthesis.
There are three primary approaches for evaluating investment decisions. They are payback, discounted cash flow analysis, and real options analysis. We discussed the discounted cash flow techniques in the last chapter. The focus of this chapter is on real options analysis.