Impulsivity is defined as the tendency to act rapidly, with little deliberation about potential longterm consequences. Though impulsivity is often associated with negative behaviors, it has been suggested that impulsivity may also be “functional” in certain contexts. We argue that entrepreneurship may be one such context. Specifically, we explore the relationship between impulsivity and nascent entrepreneurial activities in young entrepreneurs.

Research shows that industry experience is a significant factor in opportunity recognition and new venture performance. Inexperienced individuals can learn much by immersing themselves in an industry. However, many entrepreneurs choose to start a new venture before gaining such experience. These individuals likely understand the potential benefits of industry experience but are willing to take the risk with the hope of achieving desired outcomes sooner rather than later. We argue that greater levels of impulsivity may help to explain why some individuals choose to start a venture very early in their career, and therefore forego becoming experienced in an industry.