Growing complementary innovations has always been a prominent concern for nascent platforms. With high uncertainty on the prosperity of the platform, complementors often hesitate to contribute innovation on the platform. This research studies complementor seeding strategy, which we define as “platform owners selectively fund third-party development of complementary innovation to elevate platform value”. We explore a mixed-methods design to examine Amazon Alexa’s seeding strategy from 2015 to 2021. Our preliminary findings reveal that complementor seeding could be conceptualized as a layered structure where the seeds are endorsed to grow innovation in platform applications, platform enablers, and platform foundation. Besides, a nascent platform will benefit from a shorter development window for seeding indirect complementary innovations that can give rise to undulating waves of innovation on the platform. Overall, this study contributes novel insights to digital innovation management on nascent platforms.


Paper Number 1697; Track Digital Innovation; Short Paper



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