Entrepreneurial Tweaking: An Empirical Study of Technology Diffusion Through Secondary Inventions and Design Modifications by Start-Ups

European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2013, pp. 148-170

23 Pages Posted: 2 May 2014

See all articles by Richard Hunt

Richard Hunt

Virginia Polytechnic Institute

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

Existing theories of technological innovation posit a split between the incremental innovations produced by large incumbents and the radical innovations produced by entrepreneurial start-ups. This study presents empirical evidence challenging this foundational assumption by demonstrating that entrepreneurs play a leading role, not a subordinate role, in sourcing incremental innovations through secondary inventions and design modifications. Among the highest-ranked incremental innovations leading to the commercialization of the mechanized reaper and cloud computing services, nearly 90% were attributable to entrepreneurial start-ups. Paradoxically, however, an entrepreneurial start-up had only a one in fourteen chance of garnering returns from a reaper innovation and a one in nine chance of gains from a cloud computing improvement.

Keywords: Innovation, Diffusion, Value appropriation, Entrepreneurial tweaking, Entrepreneurialism, Start-ups, Technology

JEL Classification: O31, M13, O32, O33, N81

Suggested Citation

Hunt, Richard, Entrepreneurial Tweaking: An Empirical Study of Technology Diffusion Through Secondary Inventions and Design Modifications by Start-Ups (2013). European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2013, pp. 148-170, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2431379

Richard Hunt (Contact Author)

Virginia Polytechnic Institute ( email )

250 Drillfield Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
59
Abstract Views
423
rank
450,760
PlumX Metrics