Research shows that entrepreneurs open windows to new opportunities and form ventures to exploit such opportunities, but what is less clear is whether, how, and to what extent entrepreneurs seek to “shut the windows” upon entry. Resource-based view (RBV) suggests that this “window shutting” is largely an intrinsic characteristic of resources themselves. That is, resources are difficult to imitate because of their causal ambiguity, historical and cultural factors, or perhaps their ‘stickiness’ as resources interlink with products and services. These explanations are certainly important and advanced our understanding of resource inimitability—a key construct in RBV and the focus of our paper.

We further RBV by directing attention to certain actions new ventures take to essentially create additional barriers to imitators seeking access to core resources. The current paper tests (a) whether core resources are embedded in different areas of the firm, (e.g. customer-facing versus back office activities), and (b) the extent to which how resources are employed by the firm is associated with their subsequent inimitability.