Performance Indicator

6936 Words Sep 12th, 2011 28 Pages
9-702-480
REV: MAY 22, 2003

KENNETH S. CORTS

Performance Indicator
Robb Osinski and Bob Winskowicz had been friends for twelve years and business partners for five. In the middle of 2002, they felt that they were on the verge of a breakthrough in the commercialization of a new technology that their firm, Performance Indicator, LLC, had developed to let golfers know when a used golf ball had suffered performance degradation due to immersion in water hazards like ponds and creeks on golf courses. Specifically, they held patents on technology that would change the color or appearance of balls when they had been submerged in water for an extended period of time. Osinski and Winskowicz originally believed that selling the idea would be
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The U.S. Golf Association (USGA) specified the characteristics of legal balls within tight parameters. These restrictions on size, weight, materials, texture, etc., seemingly left little room for product innovation. In fact, the USGA regulations specified not just what went into a ball, but how it could perform, stipulating to within 10-20 yards how far the ball could travel when hit by a certain type of club traveling at a certain speed, all verified under controlled conditions with robotic testing equipment. Nonetheless, new product introductions were rampant in the industry, with slight changes in surface coatings and dimple patterns, for example, being touted for their ability to add a handful of yards to a golfer’s shots, to give more accuracy, or to create greater control through faster spin on the ball. In addition, ball manufacturers spent millions of dollars on advertising campaigns for their balls. There were three basic types of balls, all conforming to the same general specifications. The oldest technology still in use was the three-piece ball, which consisted of a core, windings, and a cover; this ball was good for spin and overall control. The second, and most popular, type of ball was the twopiece ball, which eliminated the windings of the three-piece ball; this ball produced more distance. The newest technology was the “solid core, multi-layered ball,” which had taken the
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