Innovation, Industry and Institutional Dynamics in Mobile Payments
4. High-Tech Entrepreneurship INTRODUCTION While the global network economy has brought numerous opportunities for high-tech entrepreneurial start-ups, it also poses severe challenges for such firms. Statistics suggest that a large proportion of high-tech start-ups die young, either being taken over by a larger enterprise or simply dissolving in the marketplace (Cooper, et al., 1988; Cosh and Hughes, 1998). Using the entrepreneurship literature, this chapter tries to answer these questions: Why is it that some high-tech entrepreneurial start-ups (such as eBay, Yahoo! and Google, among others) become ‘winners’ in the game of developing technology and setting technology/industry standards and drive the formation and development of emerging industries? And what differentiates these highly successful innovators from those that have only short lives? High-tech entrepreneurial start-ups are one of the driving forces for the emergence and formation of many new industries, such as Internet based ebusiness. However, there is no clear-cut definition of a high-tech entrepreneurial start-up, or new technology-based firm (Bollinger et al., 1983; Autio, 1997; Fontes and Coombs, 2001). It is widely agreed that this type of firm has several common characteristics. According to Bollinger, Hope and Utterback (1983), these attributes include: (1) a clearly identifiable core of people, ranging from one to four or five, who are the founders of the organization; (2) independence, that is to say the organization is not a subsidiary of a large firm; and (3) innovation, meaning the primary motivation for founding such an organization is to exploit a technically innovative idea. It has long...
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