Focusing on the incubation stage of a potential new industry, this article addresses a gap at the intersection of the external sourcing and market entry literatures by examining pre‐entry external sourcing of new resources.
Scholars have long been interested in new industry emergence, highlighting that it could often be impeded by uncertainty across four dimensions: technology, demand, ecosystem, and institutions. Building on the insight that uncertainty stems from partial knowledge, we develop a conceptual framework that utilizes a temporal and a process perspective for knowledge generation and aggregation.
Faced with demand uncertainty in a nascent industry, entrants often consider which customer segments to serve by tailoring the usage breadth and coherence of their product portfolios. Portfolios have high or low usage breadth, which is the extent to which they target customers in many segments, and high or low coherence, which measures how much the portfolios’ products overlap in targeted customer segments.