How Events Create Ventures and Ventures Create Entrepreneurs
Chapter 8: Emergent Outcomes of the Entrepreneurial Experience
When you are in the middle of a story, it isn’t a story at all, but only a confusion, a dark roaring, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood, like a house in a whirlwind, crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard powerless to stop it. It’s only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all, when you are telling it to yourself, or to somebody else. (Margaret Atwood, 1997) INTRODUCTION The real-time experiencing of events as they unfold can be jarring, rewarding, disrupting, reinforcing, disappointing, and much more. The signals these events send are often confusing, and their underlying meaning and implications are frequently unclear and subject to ongoing reinterpretation. Events define the fundamental nature of venture creation and are the source of core venture characteristics such as ambiguity, uncertainty, lack of control, and stress. They continually force the entrepreneur to reexamine a host of variables that surround the venture, including assumptions, perceptions, beliefs, behaviors, and decision alternatives. They give rise to strong emotions that influence how these variables are re-examined, and can lead to courses of action that differ significantly from those one might have followed based purely on rational analysis. Ultimately, however, the processing of events over the months and years during which a new venture is conceptualized, launched, and developed has a much more fundamental set of outcomes. In a sense, the venture context represents a crucible, a place in which concentrated forces cause development or change in...
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