Previous research has identified innovation as a crucial prerequisite for early entrepreneurial processes. However, the nature of how innovations are developed is changing dramatically, as it is becoming increasingly open, collaborative and democratized. This paper demonstrates in conceptual terms how this phenomenon - as manifested in user communities - can be used to derive deeper insights into the prominent phases of opportunity identification, evaluation and exploitation. We also outline how user communities create new avenues for empirical research on these early entrepreneurial processes. Based on our analysis, we develop a set of hypotheses on how processes in user communities affect the outcome of entrepreneurial activities.
Main Research Area:
Babson Kauffman Entrepreneurship Research Conference, 2007