Entrepreneurship N°1.pdf


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good business for Clorox, but in an informational way that didn’t require any signoffs. That gave them just enough commitment to progress. They also made sure
their potential loss during this start-up
stage was acceptably low: some time and
a small percentage of an existing budget,
with no threat of diminished reputation
because they had made no promises about
the green research and they continued to
work on other product extensions in the
traditional Clorox mold.
In the summer of 2006, the R&D team
finally found a formula that was 99% free
of petrochemicals and that worked as well
as the company’s chemical-based products. But Cook and Sengelmann still had
work to do. At that point they could have
reverted to extensive market study, models, and financial projections to figure out
how to package and sell the new line. But

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they decided that the market was still too
new for the customary in-depth analysis
and that internal concerns about the riskiness of green offerings were still too great
to be overcome without more evidence.
So they stuck with small, smart steps.
They added another “volunteer”:
their colleague Jessica Buttimer, who was
not only a marketing specialist but also
another young mother and a health enthusiast. And they began to test prototype
products with a small group of consumers
in California’s Bay Area, where Clorox is
based, again using their existing budget
and simply keeping their bosses informed.
The company learned a lot from this
low-risk research: Most users rated the
products as highly effective, and all were
excited to see the Clorox brand on a green

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