Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

When Open Architecture Beats Closed: The Entrepreneurial Use of Architectural Knowledge

Contents:

Author Info

  • Carliss Y. Baldwin

    ()
    (Harvard Business School, Finance Unit)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    This paper describes how entrepreneurial firms can use superior architectural knowledge to open up a technical system to gain strategic advantage. The strategy involves, first, identifying "bottlenecks" in the existing system, and then creating a new open architecture that isolates the bottlenecks in modules and allows others to connect to the system at key interfaces. An entrepreneurial firm with limited financial resources can then focus on supplying superior bottleneck modules, and while outsourcing and allowing complementors to supply non-bottleneck components. I show that a firm pursuing this strategy will have a higher return on invested capital (ROIC) than competitors with a less modular, closed architecture. Over time, the more open firm can drive the ROIC of competitors below their cost of capital, causing them to shrink and possibly exit the market. The strategy was used by Sun Microsystems in the 1980s and Dell Computer in the 1990s.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.hbs.edu/research/pdf/10-063.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 10-063.

    as in new window
    Length: 45 pages
    Date of creation: Feb 2010
    Date of revision: Oct 2010
    Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:10-063

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Soldiers Field, Boston, Massachusetts 02163
    Phone: 617.495.6000
    Web page: http://www.hbs.edu/
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: architecture; innovation; knowledge; modularity; dynamics; competition; industry evolution;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:10-063. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Soebagio Notosoehardjo).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.