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Architectural Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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Architectural innovation focuses on changes in product architecture and their advantages/disadvantages for incumbents and new entrants (Henderson and Clark, 1990), where many of those new entrants are going to be entrepreneurs and their startups. The bottom line of the theory for entrepreneurs is that "architectural innovation" is a promising avenue for new entrants to go after because it is difficult for incumbent to pursue such innovations. Architectural innovation is usually competence-destroying for incumbents to follow. By contrast, other types of innovations benefit incumbents, such as incremental innovations (improving components), modular innovations (swapping components) and even radical innovations (developing new capabilities in areas without legacy products). Theory basics The theory starts with the idea that a product or service is made up of components that fit together according to a type of design called "product architecture", which is either modula

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