Abstract

When do opportunities emerge and how do entrepreneurs exploit them remain foundational questions of entrepreneurship research. The existing debate centers on whether opportunities evolve exogenously, through price discrepancies within a market or due to shocks to existing industries, or endogenously, through the creativity, hard work, or plain common luck of entrepreneurs themselves. We inform this debate by integrating theories of organizational learning, information processing and competitive dynamics to better understand how users - intermediates or end-use customers - affect the process of opportunity recognition for both incumbents and new ventures. Specifically, we investigate the extent to which firms employ user feedback to shape entrepreneurial opportunities both within the discovery stage (i.e. fuzzy front-end) and during the exploitation stage (i.e. new product/service launch).

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