September 2014 Download this article as a PDF

Welcome to the September 2014 issue of the Technology Innovation Management Review. In this issue, our authors present insights about internationalization, entrepreneurship, social networks, crowdsourcing, and patent evaluation.

In the first article, Erik Zijdemans and Stoyan Tanev review the literature that addresses the challenges of innovation in firms that seek global markets from inception, meaning they are "born global". Their findings indicate that the early internationalization of new ventures should be considered as an innovation process in itself, and they emphasize that innovation and internationalization have a positive effect on each other. They also draw a link between the innovation management needed to reach global markets early in a technology company's lifecycle and the use of a lean startup approach to bring a technology product to market as early as possible.

Next, Chen Han and Adeleye Afolabi examine the knowledge needs of startups seeking to internationalize. They point to the role of social networks as a means of obtaining the different types of knowledge required through the phases of the internationalization process. Following a review of relevant literature on knowledge-based resources, the internationalization process, and the value of networks for new ventures, they provide a strategy guide to help entrepreneurs leverage their social capital for internationalization.

Mackenzie Adams, Maged Makramalla, and Walter Miron explore the effects of structural holes in an entrepreneur's social network on growth in the early years of a venture’s development. They argue that structural holes plan an important role in the growth and profitability of a new venture and affect its vulnerability to exploitation. Their article captures lessons learned and provides recommendations for entrepreneurs and managers of formal institutions in support of successful entrepreneurship.

Fabio Prado Saldanha, Patrick Cohendet, and Marlei Pozzebon present a case study of the Fiat Mio, a concept car developed in Brazil through a collaborative crowdsourcing process with Internet users. Their analysis of the case leads them to propose a new approach – the accordion model – which challenges the typical stage-gate approach to crowdsourcing. In the accordion model, a succession of broadening and narrowing periods allows ideas to be refined and explored in an iterative and collaborative manner. The article includes lessons learned by the executives of Fiat Brazil, which can be applied to other crowdsourcing projects.

Finally, Derek Smith introduces a new framework to help executives and managers determine the value of a patent by filtering out the "noise" in patent citation data. By focusing only on relevant citations, more reliable insights can be gleaned from the knowledge, technology, and invention properties of a patent, thereby increasing opportunities for strategic advantage. The article includes scenarios that illustrate how the proposed framework can be applied.

We hope you enjoy this issue of the TIM Review and will share your comments online.

In October and November, we will revisit the theme of Cybersecurity, and our guest editor will be Tony Bailetti, Director of the Technology Innovation Management (TIM) at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

For future issues, we welcome submissions of articles on technology entrepreneurship, innovation management, and other topics relevant to launching and growing technology companies. Please contact us with article topics and submissions, suggestions for future themes, and any other feedback.

Chris McPhee

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Keywords: born global, crowdsourcing, entrepreneurship, innovation, internationalization, patent citations, patent evaluation, social networks, startups