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Growing on steroids: rapidly scaling the user base of digital ventures through digital innovation

Huang, Jimmy; Henfridsson, Ola; Liu, Martin J.; Newell, Sue


Jimmy Huang

Ola Henfridsson

Martin J. Liu

Sue Newell


Digital ventures, start-ups growing by drawing on and adding to digital infrastructures, can scale their business at an unprecedented pace. We view such rapid scaling as a generative process by which a venture’s user base increases significantly between two points in time through digital innovation. We studied WeCash, a Chinese digital venture, nearly doubling its user base monthly, to learn more about this generative process. We trace three contingent mechanisms underpinning rapid scaling: data-driven operation, instant release, and swift transformation. We explain these mechanisms and how they interact in the rapid scaling of digital ventures. The research offers an agency perspective on scaling of digital ventures that speaks to the digital innovation literature.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal MIS Quarterly
Print ISSN 0276-7783
Electronic ISSN 2162-9730
Publisher University of Minnesota, Management Information Systems Research Center
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 41
Issue 1
APA6 Citation Huang, J., Henfridsson, O., Liu, M. J., & Newell, S. (in press). Growing on steroids: rapidly scaling the user base of digital ventures through digital innovation. MIS Quarterly, 41(1),
Keywords Digital innovation; digital ventures; digital technology; user base; rapid scaling; case study
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf


This file is under embargo until Mar 2, 2022 due to copyright restrictions.

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