Volume 32, Issue 2,February 2003, Pages 333-350

The product market and the market for ideas: commercialization strategies for technology entrepreneurs

This paper presents a synthetic framework identifying the central drivers of start-up commercialization strategy and the implications of these drivers for industrial dynamics. We link strategy to thecommercialization environmentthe microeconomic and strategic conditions facing a firm that is translating an idea into a value proposition for customers. The framework addresses why technology entrepreneurs in some environments undermine established firms, while others cooperate with incumbents and reinforce existing market power. Our analysis suggests that competitive interaction between start-up innovators and established firms depends on the presence or absence of a market for ideas. By focusing on the operating requirements, efficiency, and institutions associated with markets for ideas, this framework holds several implications for the management of high-technology entrepreneurial firms.

Stern is also associated with NBER, and Brookings Institution.

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