Technology entrepreneurs are increasingly building businesses that are deliberately anchored in platforms, communities, and business ecosystems. Nonetheless, actionable, evidence-based advice for technology entrepreneurs is scarce. Platforms, communities, and ecosystems are active areas of management research, but until recently, each has been studied in separate research programs, with results published in different venues, and often examined from the perspectives of incumbent managers or policy makers rather than entrepreneurs and new entrants. This article re-examines these phenomena from the perspective of technology entrepreneurs facing strategic choices about interconnected systems of platforms, communities, and business ecosystems, and decisions about the nature and extent of participation. It brings together insights from a wide range of published sources. For entrepreneurs, it provides an accessible introduction to what can be a complex topic, identifies a set of practical considerations to be accounted for in decision-making, and offers a guide for further reading. For researchers and graduate students seeking practical and high-impact research problems, it provides an entry point to the research literature and identifies gaps in the current body of knowledge, especially regarding the system-level interactions between subsystems.

Additional Metadata
Keywords architecture of participation, business ecosystem, community, platform, technology entrepreneurship
Journal Technology Innovation Management Review
Citation
Muegge, S. (2013). Platforms, communities, and business ecosystems: Lessons learned about technology entrepreneurship in an interconnected world. Technology Innovation Management Review, 5–15.