On open innovation, platforms, and entrepreneurship

Satish Nambisan, Donald Siegel, Martin Kenney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

284 Scopus citations


Research Summary: In recent decades, two emergent phenomena have jointly transformed the nature and pursuit of entrepreneurship across industries and sectors: open innovation and platformization. Open innovation involves a shift toward more open and distributed models of innovation, while platformization refers to the increasing importance of digital platforms as a venue for value creation and capture. Together, open innovation and platforms have created numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs and their firms—from serving as inputs for innovation for established firms to participating as complementors on existing platforms. While these entrepreneurial opportunities (and conditions) have manifested themselves in rich and varied ways, our understanding of these new forms of entrepreneurship has lagged behind. In this essay, and in this special issue, our objective is to bring a sharper focus on the important research issues and questions that frame open innovation, platforms, and entrepreneurship. Managerial Summary: Digital platforms and open innovation environments have unleashed numerous promising opportunities for entrepreneurs, in industries ranging from consumer software, entertainment, and home appliances to auto, health, and energy. To pursue those opportunities, however, entrepreneurs will need to gain a deeper understanding of the factors that facilitate and constrain them. In this essay, we identify and discuss several of these factors and the associated challenges and highlight the need for additional research. We also consider some of the broader contextual factors, including regulatory policies, digitization, and globalization that shape the emerging opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-368
Number of pages15
JournalStrategic Entrepreneurship Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • ecosystems
  • entrepreneurship
  • open innovation
  • platforms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management


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