Previous studies of the effects of resource slack and constraints on creativity and performance offer contradictory findings. To resolve this debate, some authors operationalize resource slack and constraints in ways that actually may have concealed their underlying complexity and dynamics. This study seeks to demonstrate how perceived resource positions influence entrepreneurial decision making and creativity by drawing on in-depth case studies of three high-tech start-ups. The authors show that resource positions are perceived, relative, transient and multidimensional; that is, they reflect the entrepreneur's perception of available resources relative to demand. Moreover, perceived resource positions are not static but change over time, and entrepreneurs can experience different types of resource constraints and slack simultaneously. The influence of perceived resource positions on decision making in turn depends on individual, temporal and resource position dynamics. These findings link perceptions of resources to the emergence of organizational ingenuity, by explaining how perceived resource positions influence decision making. © The Author(s) 2014.