Keywords: embedded Linux, e-entrepreneurship, electronic entrepreneurship, open innovation, newness liabilities, smallness liabilities, open source innovations, new ventures, open source software, OSS, start-ups, market entry barriers
New ventures based on open innovation – an empirical analysis of start-up firms in embedded Linux
An important and intriguing aspect of e-entrepreneurship is the formation of new ventures in the domain of open source software (OSS). Previous research on these ventures has primarily looked at the design of business models. The purpose of this paper is to explore how three key challenges of venture management – the liabilities of newness and smallness of start-ups and market entry barriers – affect new ventures in OSS. Based on empirical data from personal interviews and a large scale survey, we find that several liabilities that are typically discussed in the entrepreneurship literature are much less of a challenge for new ventures in OSS. Our findings have implications for the emerging theory on e-entrepreneurship and for entrepreneurs considering to exploit business opportunities based on OSS and on open innovation in general.