Essay on Cork’d: Building a Social Network for Wine Lovers

Words: 1032
Pages: 5

Problem Statement
Cork’d is a New York based wine social network. The site has been very successful; however, it is at a point where it is encountering financial distress. Cork’d’s start-up funds are diminishing and they are shorthanded on developers. The company is confronted with two major alternatives (1) Stay with their current business model or (2) Create a different business model in order to not only stay on business but to compete and regain the members both individuals and wineries that they have lost to their competitors.

Situation Analysis
Since Cork’d inception in February 2006, the company was designed for and by wine lovers. Time showed that this industry had such a demand that needed more dedication and that is when
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Why make it free? Charge a fee.
By becoming an online distributor, wineries get direct exposure. Cork’d could promote a different wine every two weeks, thus providing the incentive wineries need at a discounted prices, which are always appreciated by users.

Decision Criteria By expanding their horizons and utilizing a different business model, Cork’d has greater opportunities to shine among all competitors. Business models focused on the shopping experience, allowing users to compare prices across merchants. 
In addition, focused on inventory management, with integrated professional wine reviews with personal inventory and premium service offering automatic inventory valuation
would be a great tool for wineries.

Analysis of Alternatives
Staying with the current model
Cork’d is behind other social wine sites such as and, which are consistently leading in online traffic comparisons (registered users and time spent). As mentioned before, there seems to be no real value to the wineries to sign up if there is not a website to utilize. Furthermore, by wineries being their sole income source, the outcome is very uncertain. Emphasis would need to be put in how to provide better value to both wineries as well as users. Adopting another business model
The web has become a powerful tool for wine lovers. If a user wants a bottle from that little winery he/she visited in X place. They just need to go to Cork’ and get