Inspired by a study of exploitation and exploration in organisational learning and more recent theories on regional development, the author asks: how could the history of a Norwegian manufacturing town be explained by concepts such as smart specialisation and path creation? The chapter investigates entrepreneurial discovery taking place in a company town that is transformed into an industrial cluster. It follows the local industry through four distinct phases of exploration or exploitation. The study recognises institutional tension between strategies of exploration leading to path creation on the one hand and strategies of exploitation implying path extension on the other hand.