Karim R. Lakhani
Harvard Business School - Technology and Operations Management Group; Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society; Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science
affiliation not provided to SSRN
Stephanie Healy Pokrywa
Harvard Business School
September 29, 2011
Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Case No. 612-044
TopCoder develops software for clients through online tournaments, drawing from a community of 275,000 people. The case provides an update on TopCoder's growth and resulting changes in its platform and business model. Specifically, its decision to virtualize the project management role. Issues related to the scalability, profitability and growth of this approach are explored.
Learning Objective: To detail mechanisms of a platform focused on prize-base innovation for complex software projects involving over 275,000 members. Issues of managing clients, community and firm employees are presented.
Date posted: January 26, 2012