😯 Surprise, Surprise: Startups, Not Incumbents, Drive Commercialization of High-Impact Innovations

In a recent paper, Kolev et al. show the growing importance startups play in commercializing high-impact (and oftentimes disruptive) innovations. The reason is simple:

Startups have more incentive than incumbent firms to engage in potentially disruptive R&D because large, established firms have more to lose from the discovery of new technologies that replace traditional ways of doing things. With no existing operations, startups have nothing to lose and much to gain from disruptive innovation. (via NBER)

Lessons for incumbents: Become good at partnering with startups.