Entrepreneurship as Experience
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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.
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Chapter 1: Entrepreneurship as Experience

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


Philosophy does not raise questions and does not provide answers that would little by little fill in the blanks. The questions are within our life, within our history; they are born there, they die there . . . It is a past of experience that one day ends up at this open wondering. (Maurice Merleau-Ponty, 1960) INTRODUCTION The dominant perspective among contemporary entrepreneurship scholars is that the creation of a venture involves a process, or an evolving set of steps, that happen over time (Carter et al., 1996; Stevenson et al., 1989). What starts as recognition of an opportunity and development of a business concept evolves through identification and acquisition of needed resources, implementation or start-up of the venture, adjustment or modification of the concept, achievement of a sustainable business model, management of growth, and eventually some sort of exit. For the individual entrepreneur, then, the movement through these steps or stages represents an emerging, temporal experience. In a very real sense, it is a journey where both the destination and the path to that destination are uncertain. We know strikingly little about how this journey unfolds. Yet, as a venture is launched, takes form, and either becomes sustainable or fails, we do know that hundreds if not thousands of salient activities, events, and developments take place. The range of these events is considerable, entailing everything from rejection of a loan request by multiple banks to the company’s first big sale, and from winning a patent to the loss of a key employee....

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