By Robert Desman
is a contingency from which
It is a temporal confluence among some external cue that implies an extant,
potential, or possible opportunity; a perception of the cue implications; and, an
It begins with recognizing and evaluating an opportunity and
ends with a venture concept and entity to harness that opportunity (Stevenson, Roberts &
New venture creation is, thus, the product of a decision process.
these decisions are often fraught with biases (Wickham, 2003).
This raises an important question.
What conditions dictate
starting a new venture?
Heretofore, the corpus of new venture contributions has focused
on the variables that seem associated with launch decisions.
Conspicuously absent is an
examination of the decisions themselves and the conditions that dictate if they reflect
objectively sound judgment.
enterprise of a business nature
was first labeled a
around 1584 (OEM,
Once the term was established, it languished for about 170 years until Richard
Cantillon (1755) endeavored to understand how such ventures might be founded.
process of disciplined inquiry, Cantillon simultaneously, and inexorably, linked
to what he identified as
He, and those who followed
in his wake, envisioned entrepreneurship as an economic institution in which some
individuals are induced to hazard uncertainty and create value for the promise of
handsome personal gains (Cantillon, 1755).
By combining factors of production secured
from others (Say, 1803) and selling their produce, they pay the economic rents and retain
the residuals as profits (Liggio, 1983).
Implicit in the process is the notion that the
greater the uncertainty, the greater the profit potential must be for the new venture to be
Interestingly, little of the mainstream entrepreneurship literature written since
1960 makes much mention of new venture creation (Bird, 1992; Byers, Krist & Sullivan,
1997; Covin & Kuratko, 2008; DeVries, 1980; Folsum, 1987; McClleland, 1961; Pinchot,
1985; Zahara & George, 2002). On the other hand, little of the new venture literature
written over the same period omits the key role played by the institution of
Ronstadt (1984) offers some insight into this schism by admonishing
that the primary
parented by entrepreneurship is not new ventures, products, or
services, but, instead, “incremental wealth” and means for achieving it.
Another contemporary split between the new venture and entrepreneurship
communities devolves upon the quest for a concise, operational, definition.
Over the past
50 years, the boundaries of entrepreneurship have become progressively more amorphous
and the definitions more inclusive.
In 1978, the Strategic Planning Institute (p. 1-2)
provided specific guidance for defining a new venture:
An independent entity.