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Vistaprint: Completely Changing the Printing Industry

Robert Keane had one year to plot out his business. He went to INSEADbusiness school in France with the idea of an opportunity. Over thecourse of his one-year MBA program, during a class on new ventures, hehad a chance to lay out how he would seize it.

Robert Keane had one year to plot out his business. He went to INSEADbusiness school in France with the idea of an opportunity. Over thecourse of his one-year MBA program, during a class on new ventures, hehad a chance to lay out how he would seize it.

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His business plan grew into Vistaprint,the world’s leading provider of printing services to small businessesaround the globe. What started a “job” without pay when Robertgraduated from INSEAD in 1994, now, as of 2009, generates over $500million in revenue, produces 60% gross margins, and is transforming howsmall businesses around the world market themselves.

Whether Vistaprintwill continue disrupting its competition and fulfill itsgoal of “building one of the truly revolutionary and sustainablebusiness institutions that emerge each decade, but of which there areonly a handful,” is still uncertain. However, it is trying to be toprinting what Ikea is to furniture or Southwestis to airline travel.  But to understand how this company has soswiftly carved out a space for itself in an old industry dominated bybehemoths gives us valuable insights in how outthinkers disrupt their competition.

On Thursday, November 12, 2009, at 11am EST (9am PST), I will be holding a free webinar dissecting the success of Vistaprint. This internationalprinting company has matured from 30 employees to more than 1,700within nine years, and it continues to post incredible profit margins. Click here to register for the webinar, and by attending, learn the fundamental strategies that the Vistaprint management employed to grow so quickly and profitably.

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About the author

Author of Outthink the Competition business strategy keynote speaker and CEO of Outthinker, a strategic innovation firm, Kaihan Krippendorff teaches executives, managers and business owners how to seize opportunities others ignore, unlock innovation, and build strategic thinking skills. Companies such as Microsoft, Citigroup, and Johnson & Johnson have successfully implemented Kaihan’s approach because their executive leadership sees the value of his innovative technique. Kaihan has delivered business strategy keynote speeches for organizations such as Motorola, Schering‐Plough, Colgate‐Palmolive, Fortune Magazine, Harvard Business Review, the Society of Human Resource Managers, the Entrepreneurs Organization, and The Asia Society

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