Assessment ELEC6200 Individual Report
Deadline: Tuesday 12th May 4pm -Note date change due to Covid19.
Form: Electronic and Paper hand-in
Please hand-in both electronically via the ECS electronic hand-in system and by paper to ECS
reception and remember to get a receipt. The assessment is based on an individual report. The
report will look into the area of how technology based companies make money. Fundamentally, you
are asking the question “How does technology make money?”
To assist in this, a structure giving key topics to be addressed is given below.
During this course you will have heard from many influential and successful people about their
experiences in industries related to technology.
When a business opportunity is being assessed, it is prudent to carry out research in order to try and
reduce the risk of failure. There are many types of research that can be done, but fundamentally you
are trying to work out what you need to do to succeed, and importantly, where are the threats to
your success. One example output of such an exercise is a business plan, which describes the
business idea and can be used to convince other people (eg bank managers) that you have thought it
There are many equally important parameters that all need to be correct before a business can start
to succeed, and it is a process that needs continual updating if that success is to continue. These
apply to both start-up businesses and more established businesses.
This assignment is designed to help you appreciate some of the important factors that are needed.
By looking at the reason why some companies have succeeded, and also why some companies have
failed, you will gain an appreciation of what motivates industry. You are required to write a report of
2500 words. It should be broken into the following headings which will aid the structuring of the
1) The importance of the idea. Identify a technology market sector and identify the key players
that operate in it. Identify at least 2 competing products or services and discuss their target
customer’s requirements and how these products/services address these needs. You should
argue your own opinion as to whether they are successful. It can be useful to research
competitors who have failed in the market to provide evidence
2) The importance of the market. Using your original examples (and/or others) explain how
market and distribution are important. For example, how big is the market, what strategies
are used to access the market (low price/high volume, free download/in-app purchase,
monopolisation, or a platform for 3rd party competition)
3) Protection. Explain why barriers to entry to a market are important, what these barriers can
look like eg patents and how companies can protect their ideas and markets. Again you can
use your original example companies, or you can introduce new examples.
4) Survival. What strategies can technology companies use to ensure their survival? Look for
examples where companies haven’t survived and maybe should have. Likewise look for
examples of companies who are implementing survival strategies
5) Other issues. Look at other aspects that can affect market performance or opportunities eg
legislation, ethical aspects, sustainability, key staff/knowledge, standards, finance. Finance
might include such things as bank loans, venture capital, crowdfunding, payment in advance
from a customer, share issues
The report should be 2500 or less words long, and broken into the sections described above.
In addition there should be an abstract and conclusion, and some relevant references.
Note that there are marks for using the information from external speakers in your hypothesis. You
can either include references within the body of the text, or include a new section relating directly to
the speakers and how evidence from their talks can be used to support your views.
A marking scheme is available, but in general a good report will have a central hypothesis running
through it, and evidence to support that hypothesis will be presented. Note there is no absolute
right or wrong, but a good report will have a reasoned argument supported with evidence. The
quality of evidence is important i.e. not press releases! A good source of evidence would be the
external speakers talks for example. You should also critically evaluate the references, which allows
you to bring your own opinion into the argument. Remember that your opinion is just an opinion, if
it is not justified by evidence.
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