The Accidental Entrepreneur: The Emergent and Collective Process of User Entrepreneurship
Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Vol. 1, pp. 123-140
43 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2007 Last revised: 3 Sep 2013
Date Written: 2007
We develop a process model of how users, an understudied source of entrepreneurship, create, evaluate, share, and commercialize their ideas. We compare and contrast our model to the classic model of the entrepreneurial process, highlighting the emergent and collective nature of the user’s entrepreneurial process. Users are often “accidental” entrepreneurs who happen upon an idea through their own use and then share it with others; more specifically, the development of an idea and subsequent experimentation, adaptation, and preliminary adoption often occur before that idea is formally evaluated as the basis of a commercial venture. Users also tend to engage in collective creative activity prior to firm formation — often within the social context provided by user communities — that results in the improvement of ideas. Finally, we provide detailed data on the prevalence of user entrepreneurship in the juvenile products industry.
Keywords: user entrepreneurship, user innovation communities, entrepreneurship process, collective creativity, emerging industries
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