Entrepreneurship enjoys widespread appeal in nearly all capitalist nations, but start-up success has proved elusive for most entrepreneurs. We explain the low likelihood of entrepreneurial success by focusing on the contrast between organizational forms in terms of cultural codes that tap into widely held perceptions versus organizational forms in terms of blueprints that sustain effective guidance for organizational activities. The dilemma facing nascent entrepreneurs during their life course is the incomplete and fragmentary nature of these opportunities for learning about start-up practices. We conclude the article by offering suggestions for further research to discover what entrepreneurs actually do during the start-up process. Copyright © 2012 Strategic Management Society.