Playing with Fire at Sittercity (A)

Posted: 16 Feb 2010

See all articles by Noam Wasserman

Noam Wasserman

University of Southern California - Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

Rachel Gordon

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Date Written: December 7, 2009

Abstract

In August 2006, Genevieve ("Jeh-neh-veev") Thiers, founder and CEO of Sittercity.com looked over at Dan Ratner, Sittercity's vice president and her boyfriend of five years. It had taken her six long years to build Sittercity into the nation's leading babysitting web service. Thiers had begun Sittercity in 2001 in Boston as a way to connect babysitters and parents online, at a time when no one else had thought to manage care-giving connections via the Web. She had started the company right out of college while working full-time, but by 2006, Sittercity had sitters available across the country, was larger than all of its competitors combined, and Thiers still owned two-thirds of the venture. The company now had plans to add pet, elder-care, house and tutoring services in 2007, and Thiers wondered what other challenges she and Ratner would face as she continued to grow her venture.

Suggested Citation

Wasserman, Noam and Gordon, Rachel, Playing with Fire at Sittercity (A) (December 7, 2009). HBS Case No. 809-009; Harvard Business School Entrepreneurial Management Unit. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1553832

Noam Wasserman (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies ( email )

United States

Rachel Gordon

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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