Robin Chase should highly reconsider Antje Danielson’s involvement and share of ownership in Zipcar, and then recognize the need to appoint for a robust and competent management team after gaining direct control over the company. The proposed solution will help solve the problem of Chase’s desperate need and continued search of capital funding by attracting and satisfying more venture capitalists, who were at first doubtful of the team’s credibility and adequacy.
One of the issues that remained in the HBS case was that Chase and Danielson had contributed unequal amounts of effort in starting Zipcar, which made Chase wonder if Danielson would actually commit full time to the company. Although Danielson came up with the idea for the new start-up, she had demonstrated a lack of commitment to the growth of Zipcar, while Chase had built the entire company’s business plan by herself. Both parties should come to an agreement, where Chase would own the majority of Zipcar, while Danielson could possibly receive a minimal royalty for her limited contribution to the startup. It is also important to note Danielson’s car experience and connections with Ford were quite insignificant to the business, because Chase and Danielson were unable to predict and solve the problem of increasing operating expenses due to the adjustments of credit risks. Moreover, the first fleet of Zipcars consisted of only Volkswagen leased automobiles.
While Chase increases her share of ownership in Zipcar, she will be able to appoint a strong management team, which will help bring rapid growth to the business. A management team with experience in car leasing and running complex operations would help by making investors less anxious about the credibility and qualifications of the team, and Chase would then be able to raise more capital for Zipcar as investors would be more interested and likely to participate. Also with Chase’s strong network of relationships with people from school and work, he will easily establish an active management team for Zipcar, allowing the company to expand swiftly with fewer errors made along the process. Robin Chase had literally brought the company to life by putting 100% effort into starting Zipcar, and it is clear that she understands the business inside out.
However, it is recommended that she hires an appropriate decision maker for the team, as it was evident that she did not have the best decision making skills; when she took one advice from a former professor and immediately hired a big-company guy as president of the company. She had the right mindset to structure her team with members that could bring expertise and credibility to the team; however, she made a crucial mistake of acting too swiftly and ended up costing the company a waste of time and money. Chase had the ability to identify the right opportunity for Zipcar’s entrance into the market, as well as supporting her own vision of the company, but she is simply not cut out to lead the entire operations of the business. With that said, nonetheless, with the determination and innovation from Chase and the help of her management team, Chase will realize the serious improvements in Zipcar and experience profitability and rapid growth in the future.