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Systematic search is the organized and methodical attempt to find information related to a clear set of criteria. It assumes ordered patterns of information within relatively ordered environments and relies on analytic, rule-based modes of thinking. Systematic search is important in the creation and growth of new ventures, as entrepreneurs must often solve defined problems in the recognition and validation of opportunities and the gathering of resources needed to exploit new opportunities.

In contrast, nonsystematic or random search gathers information through opportunistic scanning, luck, and serendipity, typically without defined search criteria. It assumes that information signals are very difficult to predict in uncertain and chaotic environments, and therefore general alertness is the key to productive search, not prescribed search criteria. Such nonsystematic search relies heavily on ...

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