Habitual entrepreneurship in digital platform ecosystems: A time-contingent model of learning from prior software project experiences

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Date
2021-09-01
Authors
Fan, Terence
Schwab, Andreas
Geng, Xuesong
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Abstract

The emergence of large-scale digital platforms such as Facebook, Google Play and Apple App Store around 2008 has created opportunities for independent entrepreneurs to offer their self-developed software applications (“apps”) to large groups of platform users. The development and release of tens of thousands of apps by thousands of independent developers has created dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystems. This paper investigates whether and how learning by independent habitual entrepreneurs unfolds in substantively different ways in such dynamic platform-based environments. We argue that in these entrepreneurial ecosystems, the timing of learning efforts becomes essential. For Facebook app developers, we find that learning from their own prior app projects remains feasible. However, entrepreneurs have only a few months during which they can benefit from what they learned from a prior app project. This study supports the feasibility of time-contingent learning from prior app projects for increasingly prevalent dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystems such as digital platforms. Implications for future research and management practice are outlined.

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This accepted article is published as Fan, T., Schwab, A. & Geng, X. Habitual Entrepreneurship in Digital Platform Ecosystems: A Time-Contingent Model of Learning from Prior Software Project Experiences. Journal of Business Venturing. Volume 36(5); September 2021; Article 106140. doi: 10.1016/j.jbusvent.2021.106140. Posted with permission.

Keywords
Entrepreneurial ecosystems, Digital platforms, Habitual entrepreneurs, Dynamic environments, Prior project experience, Entrepreneurial learning
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