Entrepreneurship as Experience

Entrepreneurship as Experience

How Events Create Ventures and Ventures Create Entrepreneurs

Michael H. Morris, Christopher G. Pryor and Minet Schindehutte

Do entrepreneurs create ventures or do venture experiences create entrepreneurs? The authors of Entrepreneurship as Experience propose that the answer is ‘both’. This important volume examines how individuals experience the creation of a venture as it happens and how that experience determines the types of entrepreneur and venture that ultimately emerge.

Chapter 3: Psychology and Experience

Michael H. Morris, Christopher G. Pryor and Minet Schindehutte

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship


Our natural way of thinking about these coarser emotions is that the mental perception of some fact excites the mental affection called the emotion, and that this latter state of mind gives rise to the bodily expression. My theory, on the contrary, is that the bodily changes follow directly the perception of the exciting fact, and that our feeling of the same changes as they occur IS the emotion. (William James, 1890) INTRODUCTION The man with no memory is in-the-moment and of-the-world. He experiences, but these experiences flow past his consciousness and leave no trace and no meaning and no structure. He experiences the sight of an empty cup but doesn’t remember the experience of drinking coffee. A mashed out cigarette but no experience of having smoked. A waking state without ever having experienced awakening. This man experiences, but the experiences do not congeal to form meaning, which he can later draw on, or structure, which helps him interpret subsequent experiences, or consciousness, with which he can say, “I am alive.” This man experiences the moment, perhaps even more purely than the man with memory, yet he has no experience. In 1985, Clive Wearing’s structure of experience stopped developing. He had contracted encephalitis, a severe inflammation of the brain, which in earlier years would have killed him. He survived. His memory was destroyed, and he became the most severe case of amnesia ever recorded in medical history (Baddeley, 1990; Sacks, 2007). He doesn’t retain memories of his present lived-through experiences,...

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