Entrepreneurs in High Technology: Lessons from MIT and Beyond

By Edward B. Roberts | Go to book overview

manufacturing. Similarly, lack of market orientation at the outset is frequently not corrected merely by the passing of time, with formal market- related activities still missing from the majority of technology-based enterprises even after several years of company existence.

Both entrepreneurs and investors need to recognize the more balanced and accelerated approach to company development that is typically undertaken by the multifounder firm, which initially targets an explicit product market. Single founder firms are especially slow in developing formal sales and marketing approaches that go beyond their own personal skills and effort, thereby retarding the firm's evolution. Including sales and marketing skills in the initial founding group seems especially appropriate. Confirmation of the possible relations of these variables to eventual success and failure of the technology-based firm awaits later chapters. But in the meantime prospective entrepreneurs should strongly consider taking the rather low "risk" of adopting a product/market-oriented team approach toward company formation and development.


Notes
1.
To assure reliable data recall on the first years of existence an original sample group of 96 MIT laboratory spin-off companies was screened to exclude those companies over five years old at the time of data collection. Limiting the sample further to be within the Greater Boston area for ease of data gathering, and omitting the high outliers in regard to size of initial capitalization to assure more comparability, twenty prospects were identified. Eighteen of the twenty companies (90 percent) agreed to cooperate with a more probing set of structured inter-views using a detailed questionnaire that covered the first two years of company activities. The resulting small group constitutes 16 percent of the initial larger sample. The research design thus provides a form of longitudinal study for this chapter, with data gathered for three time periods in the lives of the participating companies: founding, two years, and five to seven years.

References

H. Aldrich & E. R. Auster. "Even Dwarfs Started Small: Liabilities of Age and Size and their Strategic Implications", in Research in Organizational Behavior, 8 ( Greenwich, CT:JAI Press, Inc., 1986), 165-198.

P. L. Braden. Technological Entrepreneurship: The Allocation of Time and Money in Technology- Based Firms ( Ann Arbor, MI: Division of Research, Graduate School of Business Administration, 1977).

N. C. Churchill. "Entrepreneurs and their Enterprises: A Stage Model", in J. A. Hornaday , J. A. Timmons, & K. H. Vesper (editors), Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, 1983 ( Wellesley, MA: Babson College, 1983), 1-22.

H. R. Feeser & G. E. Willard. "Incubators and Performance: A Comparison of High-andLow-Growth High-Tech Firms"

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Entrepreneurs in High Technology: Lessons from MIT and Beyond
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Contents xi
  • Chapter 1 High-Technology Entrepreneurs 3
  • References 30
  • Chapter 2 an Environment for Entrepreneurs 31
  • References 45
  • Chapter 3 the Makings of an Entrepreneur 47
  • Summary and Implications 94
  • Notes 96
  • References 97
  • Chapter 4 the Technological Base of the New Enterprise 100
  • Summary and Implications 121
  • References 123
  • Chapter 5 the Financial Base of the New Enterprise 124
  • Summary and Implications 156
  • Chapter 6 Evolving Toward Product and Market-Orientation 160
  • Notes 186
  • References 186
  • Chapter 7 Finding Additional Financing 188
  • References 215
  • Chapter 8 Going Public 217
  • Summary and Implications: Sizzle or Steak 242
  • References 244
  • Chapter 9 Survival Versus Success 245
  • Chapter 10 Product Strategy and Corporate Success 281
  • Notes 306
  • References 308
  • Chapter 11 Super-Success 309
  • Notes 336
  • References 338
  • Chapter 12 Technological Entrepreneurship: Birth, Growth, and Success 339
  • References 358
  • Appendix a Quarter Century of Research 359
  • References 375
  • Index of Founders and Firms 377
  • Subject Index 381
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