Is open source software about innovation? collaborations with the open source community and innovation performance of software entrepreneurial ventures

Evila Piva, Francesco Rentocchini, Cristina Rossi Lamastra
Journal of Small Business Management

Practitioners generally assert that collaborations with the open source software (OSS) community enable software entrepreneurial ventures to achieve superior innovation performance. Nonetheless, scholars have never tested this assertion. This paper takes a first step toward filling this gap. First, based on the high-tech entrepreneurship literature and the OSS research stream, we illustrate why collaborations with the OSS community should exert a positive effect on entrepreneurial ventures' innovation performance. Then, we provide a rigorous quantitative analysis of the innovation impact of these collaborations. Our econometric estimates indicate that entrepreneurial ventures collaborating with the OSS community exhibit superior innovation performance compared with their noncollaborating peers.