Babson Professor William Bygrave, Case Director
Carl Hedberg, Case Writer
Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship
© Babson College, 2007
Featured in a 2006 Business Week special report on the ‘Best Entrepreneurs under 25’, Matt Lauzon and Jason Reuben are hoping to revolutionize the custom jewelry business. Paragon Lake is an online concept that offers shoppers the ability to customize pieces of jewelry that are delivered with little wait time—because as soon as an order is placed, the company's Los Angeles facility is alerted to assign a jeweler to begin handcrafting it using a three-dimensional computer drawing. Jason’s family has a diamond cutting business, and this alliance is an important part of their plan. Matt, who grew up on the coast of Maine, has still not met Jason’s father—a seasoned pro in the diamond trade who took his business, and business relationships, seriously. Although he had developed a great rapport with Moiz Reuben over the phone, Matt was still working through the risks and implications of seeking an entrepreneurial path within what was essentially a family enterprise. Nevertheless, he and Jason are eager to move beyond the personal introductions and get on with building a dynamic Internet model that could capture a huge upside by restructuring a traditional value chain.
Teaching Objective: To present a framework for opportunity assessment, shaping and retail concept replication in a mature, highly competitive environment.
Key Words: Online business models, User innovation, Fashion retailing, Entrepreneurship, Opportunity recognition, Wholesale purchasing, Retail training, Retail management, Family funding, Growth strategies
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