High-Tech Entrepreneurship in Asia
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High-Tech Entrepreneurship in Asia

Innovation, Industry and Institutional Dynamics in Mobile Payments

Marina Yue Zhang and Mark Dodgson

The option for consumers to make payments for services and products via mobile telephones has created a dynamic new industry. High-Tech Entrepreneurship in Asia illustrates how small, entrepreneurial firms in Asia have devised and produced innovations crucial for this industry’s development.
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Chapter 4: High-Tech Entrepreneurship

Marina Yue Zhang and Mark Dodgson


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 been recognized that...

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