February 2013 Download this article as a PDF

From the Editor-in-Chief

Welcome to the February 2013 issue of the Technology Innovation Management Review. This month's editorial theme is Platforms, Communities, and Business Ecosystems. As our guest editor for this issue, we welcome Steven Muegge, Assistant Professor at the Sprott School of Business and faculty member of the Technology Innovation Management (TIM) program at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. This issue contains four articles and a report on the first TIM Lecture of 2013: "Energy Efficiency and Data Security in Modern Data Centres".

In March and April, we offer two issues on the topic of open innovation. The theme in March is Local Open Innovation, and the guest editor is Christophe Deutsch, R&D Manager at Telops and Director/Co-Founder of Seeking Solutions in Quebec City, Canada. In April, the theme is Open Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the guest editor is Jean-Pierre Segers, Head of the PHL Business School in Limburg, Belgium, and Chairman/Co-Founder of Creative Inc.

We are also planning an unthemed issue in late spring; this is a good opportunity for authors to submit an article on any topic within our overall scope.

I am also very pleased to announce the publication of the TIM program's first ebook: Best of TIM Review for Technology Entrepreneurs. It features 16 of the most insightful, most relevant, and most popular articles on technology entrepreneurship published in the TIM Review, as selected and introduced by Tony Bailetti, Director of the TIM program, and Brian Hurley, President and CEO of Purple Forge, with a foreword by Denzil Doyle, Chairman of Doyletech Corporation.

We hope you enjoy this issue of the TIM Review and will share your comments online. Please contact us with article topics and submissions, suggestions for future themes, and any other feedback.

Chris McPhee


From the Guest Editor

In this issue of the TIM Review, we explore the theme of Platforms, Communities, and Business Ecosystems. An appropriate subtitle for this issue would be Technology Entrepreneurship in an Interconnected World.

The separate notions of platforms, communities, and business ecosystems are likely familiar to TIM Review readers: all three have been recurring themes throughout the history of this journal, and its predecessor, the Open Source Business Resource (OSBR). This issue offers a fresh perspective in at least two ways. First, each article in this issue speaks directly to the technology entrepreneur – a perspective that is under-represented in the management literature generally (Bailetti, 2012; Bailetti et al., 2012) and in the management research on platforms, communities, and business ecosystems specifically (Muegge, 2011; Muegge, this issue). Second, this issue explicitly considers these three management phenomena together. Each article either approaches one of these phenomena from a new perspective or examines systems that bundle together platforms, communities, and business ecosystems as components of something larger.

These articles will be of particular interest to technology entrepreneurs who operate simultaneously in multiple platforms, communities, and business ecosystems, and who participate in field settings that comprise multiple instances of these components. Interconnected systems of platforms, communities, and business ecosystems, such as Lead To Win (see Bailetti and Hudson, 2009; Bailetti, 2010), or Eclipse (see Smith and Milinkovich, 2007; Skerrett, 2011), or the multitude of community-developed open source software projects with company participation and commercial derivatives and complements (e.g., Wheeler, 2009; Weiss, 2011; Lindman and Rajala, 2012), are increasingly becoming the normal contexts for technology entrepreneurship rather than exceptions.

This issue is also significant in at least one other way. This past year, my colleagues in the Technology Innovation Management (TIM) program at Carleton University identified a set of specific research priority areas that would become focal points for our own research and our work with graduate students. Each research priority area addressed a specific management challenge faced by technology entrepreneurs. The October 2012 issue on “Born Global” was the first issue of the TIM Review to showcase work in one of these research priority areas – how technology entrepreneurs can globalize early and rapidly. This is the second issue of the TIM Review to showcase work on a research priority area – in this case, how technology entrepreneurs can benefit from platforms, communities, and business ecosystems. All of the authors are associated with the Lead To Win business ecosystem or Carleton's Technology Innovation Management program.

In the first article, I provide lessons for technology entrepreneurs facing choices about engaging with existing systems of platforms, communities, and business ecosystems, and the nature and extent of participation. The source material is a re-examination of the published research on platforms, communities, and business ecosystems, re-interpreted from the perspective of the technology entrepreneur, with system architecture as the unifying concept linking the organization of technologies, people, and companies. Although this is primarily a practitioner article, it will also be of interest to researchers and new graduate students seeking high-impact and managerially relevant research topics in technology innovation management and technology entrepreneurship and an overview and entry point to the research and practitioner literature on these topics.

Diane Isabelle, a faculty member of Carleton University's Sprott School of Business, examines the factors that technology entrepreneurs should consider when choosing a business incubator or accelerator. This article contributes recommendations for technology entrepreneurs based on findings from two recent surveys – the author's own survey of Canadian managers of incubators and accelerators and their client firms, and a 2012 survey by the National Business Incubation Association on the North American business incubation industry. Entrepreneurs lacking access to an established business ecosystem can consider incubators and accelerators as possible support mechanism and a means to access partners and resources that would be difficult to obtain otherwise.

Derek Smith, Mohammad Mehdi Gharaei Manesh, and Asrar Alshaikh, graduate students in Carleton's Technology Innovation Management program, examine how entrepreneurs can motivate crowdsourcing participants. This article contributes recommendations to technology entrepreneurs seeking to effectively motivate crowds, and advocates crowdsourcing as a viable alternative tactic to grow communities.

Tony Bailetti, Director of the Technology Innovation Management program, and Sonia Bot, member of the Lead To Win Council, describe the architecture of Lead To Win as a job-creation engine fuelled by technology entrepreneurs. Based on 10 design rules, an architecture links a business ecosystem, various communities of stakeholders, and a platform of shared resources and assets into an engine that converts public funds into jobs. It contributes details on how to design and operate a job-creation engine using an ecosystem approach, and the challenges of changing the components of a job-creation engine.

We hope that you enjoy this issue of the TIM Review, and find it rich with ideas and actionable knowledge that you can apply within your own organizations and entrepreneurial endeavours.

Steven Muegge
Guest Editor

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Keywords: business ecosystems, communities, platforms, technology entrepreneurship