Low-code entrepreneurship: Shopify and the alternative path to growth

Dushnitsky, G and Stroube, B (2021) Low-code entrepreneurship: Shopify and the alternative path to growth. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 16 (e00251). ISSN 2352-6734 OPEN ACCESS


The past decade witnessed a surge in the availability of low-code tools, where software-based solutions can be developed with limited or no need for writing code. One of the most salient examples is Shopify, which enables a layperson to become a fully-functioning online retailer without ever resorting to writing code. We ask: how do low-code tools affect growth trajectory and entrepreneurial success? How do they change the resources required to scale-up and grow? We explore these questions in the context of the e-commerce sector during the 2010s. Several databases were integrated to construct a sample covering about 400 VC-backed startups; including a detailed profile of their financial, human and software tools. The analyses indicate that Shopify-based startups start life with fewer financial and human resources compared to their e-commerce peers. Yet, despite the leaner beginning, they achieve a similar level of successful exits. The value created per employee, and cash-on-cash return for investors, place Shopify-based startups on par with their peers.

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Item Type: Article
Subject Areas: Strategy and Entrepreneurship
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© 2021 The Authors.

This is an open access article published under the CC BY-NC-ND licence

Date Deposited: 19 May 2021 14:44
Date of first compliant deposit: 12 May 2021
Subjects: Entrepreneurs
Fund raising
Internet infrastructure and technology
Last Modified: 30 May 2024 02:00
URI: https://lbsresearch.london.edu/id/eprint/1784

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