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Short Analysis and Description of the Management Style of Netscape Managers Prior the Merger in 1998

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Essay title: Short Analysis and Description of the Management Style of Netscape Managers Prior the Merger in 1998

Overview

Netscape workforce increased from 2 to 330 in just 15 months between April 1994 and July 1995. Despite further important increased and an attrition rate of 20% in the following years, Netscape undoubtedly had a strong management style which differentiated itself from the vast majority of well established companies (was different from those used by). With today’s detachment we can qualified it as “technological start-up management style”. Indeed it is quite similar to the management style of many of the start-up which blossomed in the Silicon Valley in the 90s, though it possessed its own specificity. I will describe Netscape management style of Netscape Managers prior the merger in 1998 and comment possible strengths and weaknesses. I will also try and find out how far this styled contributed to Netscape success or failure as an internet browser company.

Management style and decision taking

When looking at Netscape creators’ first moves we can qualify their management style as bold and creative. Their decision to launch their first browser without any advertising and with no sales in retail outlets was without any doubts a claver new way of getting into the market. Then managers chose a very innovation-oriented path with a will of launching a lot of products very quickly and to cash in on every new developments of the internet industry.

An assessment of the management style in decision taking would be full of praise. It was a clear strength in Netscape’s development. Figures of performance tell the tale. Thanks to some shrewd risk-taking Netscape accounted for 80% of the browser market barely a year after its creation. Within the first 15 months of its interception, Netscape rolled out 11 new products. In 1997, Netscape broadened its product portfolio by developing internet content services. In 1998 Netscape entered new businesses once again for example enterprise and e-commerce software. By the fourth quarter of 1998 those areas accounted for 75% of Netscape earnings showing how great an impact the adaptable and innovation management style had.

Management style of the employee: Netscape’s culture

Netscape’s culture was one of casualness, flexibility, independence and trust. Most of these traits resulted from an implicit way of working, a spirit, an atmosphere. However some tangible measures were also set up during the four years of this noteworthy adventure.

The biggest guidelines were probably drawn by the “Netscape Time” which consisted in 6 core principles. The first one was “Fast enough never is” asking the employees to deliver at lightning speed. The second one was “The paranoid predator” which led the firm to always keep the spirit of David fighting goliath. “All work, all time” invited the employees to give their biggest implication at work through long hours but also brain-storming and discussions of problems. “Just enough management” was clearly a lack of top management whose purpose was to give enough space to freedom for creation to happen. With “Four times faster” the aim was not only to outrun

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