Netscape's Work Culture

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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB013
Case Length : 13 Pages
Period : 1994 - 2000
Pub Date : 2001
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Netscape
Industry : Information Technology
Countries : USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

Netscape was co-founded by Jim Clark (Clark) and Andreessen. Clark was a Stanford University professor turned entrepreneur. Andreessen was an undergraduate from the University of Illinois, working with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

In 1993, with a fellow student, Andreessen developed the code for a graphical Web browser and named it Mosaic. In April 1994, Clark and Andreessen founded a company, which was named as Electric Media (See Exhibit I). The name was changed to Mosaic Communications in May 1994. In November 1994, Mosaic Communications was renamed Netscape Communications.

Human Resource and Organization Behavior | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Human Resource and Organization Behavior, Case Studies

In December 1994, Netscape introduced Navigator, its first commercial version of its browser . By March 1995, six million copies of Navigator were in use around the world.

This was without any advertising, and with no sales through retail outlets. Netscape allowed users to download the software from the Internet. By mid 1995, Navigator accounted for more than 75% of the browser market while Mosaic share was reduced to just 5%.

In the same month, Netscape launched Navigator 1.0. During February-March 1995, Netscape launched Navigator 1.1. This new version could be run on Windows NT and Macintosh Power PC. Within three months, the beta version of Navigator 1.2 for Windows 95 was launched. At the same time, Netscape announced its plans to launch the commercial version of Navigator 1.2 in the next August 1995.

By launching new versions of browsers quickly, Netscape set new productivity standards in the web browser market...

Excerpts >>

3] Clark's first venture was Silicon Graphics, which produced super fast visual workstations. He had invested US $4 million while another US $4 million came from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital company.

4] The National Center for Supercomputing Applications is one of the five original centers of the National Science Foundation's Supercomputer Centers Program and a unit of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It was founded in January 1986. NCSA is involved in high-performance computing and networking and in developing innovative software applications. NCSA broadened the user base of remote supercomputing and the Internet with NCSA Telnet in 1987. In 1992, the center introduced NCSA Mosaic, the first readily-available graphical Web browser.

5] A web browser is a software application for locating and displaying Web pages. The two most popular browsers are Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Both of these are graphical browsers, which means that they can display graphics as well as text. In addition, most modern browsers can present multimedia information, including sound and video.

6] A version of the windows operating system. Windows NT (New Technology) is a 32-bit operating system that supports preemptive multi-tasking. There are two versions of Windows NT: Windows NT Server, designed to act as a server in networks, and Windows NT Workstation for stand alone or client workstations.

7] A popular computer model made by Apple Computer with the PowerPC microprocessor.

8] A beta version of the software is the last stage of testing the software, and normally involves sending the product to beta test sites outside the company for real-world exposure.


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