Business Models in Emerging Industries: Some Lessons from the ‘Better Place’ Electric-Car Debacle
International Journal of Technology Management, 2017, Forthcoming
15 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2016 Last revised: 23 Feb 2017
Date Written: January 16, 2016
In this article, I explore the role of optimal target markets in developing sustainable business models for promising new technologies. On the basis of a counterfactual analysis of what a failed electric-car pioneer could have done differently in order to survive and thrive, I argue that a high-technology startup in an emerging industry needs to find the market where its value proposition stands the best chance of being perfectly scalable, fertile and lasting, and I show how these three qualities of a value proposition reinforce each other and can bring an initially reluctant market into being. I conclude that in emerging high-technology industries, the choice of the most adequate target market should be pre-eminent, since it is so pivotal to the selection and calibration of all other elements of a suitable business model. I close with a cautious plea for a more frequent use of theory-based counterfactuals in business research.
Keywords: business models, value propositions, target markets, emerging industries, emerging technologies, high technology, startups, complementors, electric cars, counterfactual analysis
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation