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How do innovative digital start-ups achieve success?: perspectives of Australian founders
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 10:34 authored by Hasnain Zaheer
This research project investigates innovative digital start-ups. A life-story approach, in which founders narrate their experiences, meanings and wisdom, is widely acknowledged as a method of entrepreneurial learning. The Sunrise Conference in which some of Australia's most successful digital entrepreneurs narrated the early days of their start-up journeys provided a rich pool of data. These narratives are supplemented with in-depth, semi-structured interviews to build twelve case studies. Insights are generated from the founders' perspectives of their success, especially at the early stage that they often refer to as 'traction'. This knowledge is combined with received theory in entrepreneurship and modern practitioners' literature to propose 'TrAction'. The framework consists of 1. Setting a trajectory for success with vision, purpose, focus, timing, core values and powering it with founding team skills; and then 2. Taking actions to achieve product-market fit driven by user experience while excelling in branding, 'growth marketing' and constantly tracking performance in essential metrics. This study lays the foundation for more research in an emerging yet vital sector for the Australian economy.