Towards Understanding Startup Product Development as Effectual Entrepreneurial Behaviors

  • Anh Nguven Duc
  • Yngve Dahle
  • Martin Steinert
  • Pekka Abrahamsson
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 304)


Software startups face with multiple technical and business challenges, which could make the startup journey longer, or even become a failure. Little is known about entrepreneurial decision making as a direct force to startup development outcome. In this study, we attempted to apply a behavior theory of entrepreneurial firms to understand the root-cause of some software startup’s challenges. Six common challenges related to prototyping and product development in twenty software startups were identified. We found the behavior theory as a useful theoretical lens to explain the technical challenges. Software startups search for local optimal solutions, emphasize on short-run feedback rather than long-run strategies, which results in vague prototype planning, paradox of demonstration and evolving throw-away prototypes. The finding implies that effectual entrepreneurial processes might require a more suitable product development approach than the current state-of-practice.


Effectuation Entrepreneurial behavior theory Software development Software startups Prototyping Empirical study 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anh Nguven Duc
    • 1
  • Yngve Dahle
    • 2
  • Martin Steinert
    • 2
  • Pekka Abrahamsson
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.University College of Southeast NorwayNotoddenNorway
  2. 2.Norwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  3. 3.Software Startups Research NetworkTrondheimNorway

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