the case, but can I ask you to start, weve teased a little bit about Rubicon, but 5

Author : manjikefabvikol
Publish Date : 2021-04-19 03:43:55
the case, but can I ask you to start, weve teased a little bit about Rubicon, but 5

Brian Kenny: I want to thank you both for joining me on Cold Call today. It's a great case and I'm glad we had an opportunity to discuss it. So, Nate Morris, Shai Bernstein, thanks again for being on Cold Call.

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Rubicon began with a bold idea: create a cloud-based, full-service waste management platform, providing efficient service anywhere in the US. Their mobile app did for waste management what Uber had done for taxi service. Five years after the case’s publication, Harvard Business School Associate Professor Shai Bernstein and Rubicon founder and CEO Nate Morris discuss how the software startup leveraged technology to disrupt the waste industry and other enduring lessons of professor Bill Sahlman’s case about Rubicon.

Brian Kenny: Americans throw a lot of stuff away. I mean, more than people in other countries. Americans average 4.5 pounds of waste per day, compared with the global average of about 1.6 pounds per day. Now, four and a half pounds may not sound so bad, but it adds up. That's 1,600 pounds per individual, and 6,500 pounds per family over the course of a year. All in, Americans produced 292 million tons of waste in 2018, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. So, where does it all go? Is one person's trash really another person's treasure?

Today on Cold Call, we'll sort through the waste management sector with Professor Shai Bernstein and guest Nate Morris on a case entitled, Rubicon Global. I'm your host, Brian Kenny, and you're listening to Cold Call, on the HBR Presents network.

Professor Shai Bernstein's research focuses on financial issues related to startups and high growth firms, and the interaction of these issues with innovation and entrepreneurial activity. Nate Morris is the founder of Morris Industries, a Lexington, Kentucky-based conglomerate that is re-imagining the industrial economy. His passion to solve the environmental threats posed by global waste led him to found Rubicon, which is the subject of our case today. Thank you both for joining me.

Shai Bernstein: Thank you very much for having us.

Nate Morris: Thank you, Brian. We're delighted to be here.

Brian Kenny: Yes, it's great to have you both. And part of the reason that we wanted to talk about this case is because I believe this is the fifth anniversary year of it. It's been in the curriculum at the Business School for some time, and it still surfaces some of the issues that are most relevant today in business school curricula. Always fun to have the protagonist in a case join us as well, Nate, so I'm glad that you're able to be here.

Brian Kenny: Let me start with you, Shai. I know you've taught this case in class. I'm wondering, how do you start off the class? What's your cold call?

Shai Bernstein: Yes. So again, Brian, thank you very much for having me here today. So, just to give a little bit of context. So, the Rubicon case is being taught in our entrepreneurial finance class, which is a second year EC course in which we are basically walking through the lifecycle of the firm, trying to think about different sources of capital that match the firms at the different stages of the evolution of the company. And in the first model of the class, we are specifically thinking about different characteristics of business models that make some firms more attractive to investors than others.

So, a typical way in which we'll kick off the discussion is to start with a fairly broad question, which is, if you were an investor in this company, how would you evaluate the company? And we will typically have this POCD framework in mind, which is focusing on evaluating the people, the opportunity that the company is trying to tackle, and the context, the environment in which the company is operating. So, typically, the students will start by trying to analyze the company along these dimensions. And that would be the opening question in the class.

Brian Kenny: I mentioned that it's been in the curriculum for a while. Why do you think this particular case has aged as well as it has?

Shai Bernstein: Yes, I think the case has remained, and I anticipate that it will remain on the curriculum for a long time going forward, because it touches on multiple really interesting and important aspects. The first of all, the case is focused on the waste management industry, which is not the typical venture-backed type of business. It’s not every day you will hear about these kind of industries when you're following venture funding.

So, I think overall, it's a really interesting mixture of technology and industry dynamics and this sustainability issue that, you bring them all together, makes it a really interesting case.

Brian Kenny: Nate, let's turn to you for a second. Again, I'm glad you're able to be here with us today to give us your perspective as the protagonist in the case, but can I ask you to start, we've teased a little bit about Rubicon, but we haven't really described it. Can you tell us what Rubicon does and how you came up with the idea for it?

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Brian Kenny: I want to thank you both for joining me on Cold Call today. It's a great case and I'm glad we had an opportunity to discuss it. So, Nate Morris, Shai Bernstein, thanks again for being on Cold Call.

Related Links:

Nate Morris: Thank you, Brian. We're delighted to be here.

Brian Kenny: Yes, it's great to have you both. And part of the reason that we wanted to talk about this case is because I believe this is the fifth anniversary year of it. It's been in the curriculum at the Business School for some time, and it still surfaces some of the issues that are most relevant today in business school curricula. Always fun to have the protagonist in a case join us as well, Nate, so I'm glad that you're able to be here.

Brian Kenny: Let me start with you, Shai. I know you've taught this case in class. I'm wondering, how do you start off the class? What's your cold call?

Shai Bernstein: Yes. So again, Brian, thank you very much for having me here today. So, just to give a little bit of context. So, the Rubicon case is being taught in our entrepreneurial finance class, which is a second year EC course in which we are basically walking through the lifecycle of the firm, trying to think about different sources of capital that match the firms at the different stages of the evolution of the company. And in the first model of the class, we are specifically thinking about different characteristics of business models that make some firms more attractive to investors than others.

So, a typical way in which we'll kick off the discussion is to start with a fairly broad question, which is, if you were an investor in this company, how would you evaluate the company? And we will typically have this POCD framework in mind, which is focusing on evaluating the people, the opportunity that the company is trying to tackle, and the context, the environment in which the company is operating. So, typically, the students will start by trying to analyze the company along these dimensions. And that would be the opening question in the class.

Brian Kenny: I mentioned that it's been in the curriculum for a while. Why do you think this particular case has aged as well as it has?

Shai Bernstein: Yes, I think the case has remained, and I anticipate that it will remain on the curriculum for a long time going forward, because it touches on multiple really interesting and important aspects. The first of all, the case is focused on the waste management industry, which is not the typical venture-backed type of business. It’s not every day you will hear about these kind of industries when you're following venture funding.

So, I think overall, it's a really interesting mixture of technology and industry dynamics and this sustainability issue that, you bring them all together, makes it a really interesting case.

Brian Kenny: Nate, let's turn to you for a second. Again, I'm glad you're able to be here with us today to give us your perspective as the protagonist in the case, but can I ask you to start, we've teased a little bit about Rubicon, but we haven't really described it. Can you tell us what Rubicon does and how you came up with the idea for it?

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