Lean Startup: Opportunity Discovery or Opportunity Creation?

10 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2014

See all articles by Paul Boland

Paul Boland

Rowan University

Brett Riggio

Rowan University

Steven Phelan

Fayetteville State University

Date Written: November 20, 2013

Abstract

This paper situates lean startup within the debate on whether opportunities are discovered or created. Drawing on complexity theory, lean startup is described as a technique that enables an entrepreneur to search for peaks on a fitness landscape. While much of the lean startup literature characterizes this as a discovery process, we demonstrate that a dancing fitness landscape also resembles opportunity creation. We then explore the implications of this finding for theory and practice.

Keywords: lean startup, complexity theory, effectuation, opportunity

JEL Classification: M13

Suggested Citation

Boland, Paul and Riggio, Brett and Phelan, Steven, Lean Startup: Opportunity Discovery or Opportunity Creation? (November 20, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2534139 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2534139

Paul Boland

Rowan University ( email )

201 Mullica Hill Road
Glassboro, NJ 08028
United States

Brett Riggio

Rowan University ( email )

201 Mullica Hill Road
Glassboro, NJ 08028
United States

Steven Phelan (Contact Author)

Fayetteville State University ( email )

Fayetteville, NC 28301
United States

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