Entrepreneurs in High Technology: Lessons from MIT and Beyond

By Edward B. Roberts | Go to book overview

well as marketing oriented control of new product idea flow and the resultant development process all contribute significantly to financial success.

Financial managers of these high-technology firms generate higher financial leverage than their electronic industry counterparts, perhaps due to the greater profitability of the sampled firms. Dividends are almost never issued in these hardware companies, all earnings being reinvested toward future growth. No aspect of capital structure helps to explain overall corporate success.

Thirteen of the 21 founding CEOs had already been displaced by new CEOs, the replacements usually being brought in after some set of externally generated "critical events". But the eight surviving original founder-CEOs as a group perform as well as the replacement CEOs. The new CEOs tend to have marketing backgrounds, in contrast with the engineering backgrounds of the first-generation CEOs. The new CEOs dramatically transform their firms toward the marketing-orientation, frequently achieving corporate success by means of that transformation. No additional insights explain the comparable degree of success achieved by the relatively few super-successful surviving founder-CEOs. Their entrepreneurial accomplishments remain as a deep mystery for later researchers to fathom.


Notes
1.
A number of prominent Greater Boston high-technology firms are not included in this sample primarily because their formal SIC code was not 3573 or 3811, or because the company was too old. For example, Digital Equipment Company, involved heavily in the overall entrepreneurial research program as an MIT spin-off, is omitted from this special analysis because it had been founded more than 20 years before the time of study.
A. Firms That Participated in the Research
Analog Devices Dynatech Corporation
Analogic Corporation GCA Corporation
Applicon, Inc. GRI Computer Corporation
Block Research and Engineering Haemonetics Corporation
Division, Bio-Rad Laboratories Helix Technology Corporation
CL Systems, Inc. Modicon, Division of Gould
Computer Devices, Inc. Prime Computer, Inc.
Computervision Corporation Semicon, Inc.
Damon Corporation Silicon Transistor Corporation
Data Printer Corporation ( BBF Inc.)
Data Terminal Systems Xylogics, Inc.
Datatrol, Inc.

-336-

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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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