Very interesting piece by Alina Dizik in the Financial Times on the role of Harvard Business School in the creation and growth of Vostu, a social game making company focused on the Brazilian market. Its clear from the piece that the founders arrived at HBS planning to launching ventures, one stating he was prepared to drop out of Harvard if the right opportunity came up. From the article:
The founders say their HBS experience influenced many of the ideas for the company and supplied them with a basis for strategic thinking. Their HBS professors weighed in with advice on anything from where the company should be domiciled to which market to target.
All three founders state that cases on Brazil were an inspiration.
“If you have focus on a big market, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing because you’re going to find something that works because the market is big,” says Mr Kafie, the company’s 28-year-old chief executive. Vostu has 22m active monthly players, with more than 25 per cent of Brazil’s internet users playing Vostu’s games, according to the founders.
At HBS, as many students were ushered between banking and consulting recruiting events, Mr Schlosser remembers feeling overwhelmed when considering a less secure post-MBA path. He spent two years at a hedge fund, working at Vostu part-time while the gaming company searched for ways to make money, before returning to the start-up full time.
“It’s hard to tell yourself you have to interrupt this [steady job] with the uncertainty of doing something by yourself,” he says. At HBS, he points out there was considerable “emphasis on taking the big job or following what other people have done”.