The knowledge‐based view suggests that the innovative performance of a firm is a function of the utilization and recombination of internal and external knowledge. The process of knowledge utilization and recombination to create new products can occur internally, through research and development activities, as well as externally, by making investments in creating links with suppliers, universities, customers, and a wide range of actors in the innovation system. This study focuses on the impact of unique, nonmimetic external knowledge, which is defined as unique technological knowledge that is not tapped by other firms in the new venture's operating environment, on the new venture's innovative performance. The purpose of the research is to investigate whether firms really benefit from utilizing and recombining unique, nonmimetic knowledge in creating innovative products in a developing country context. Drawing on the knowledge‐based view and institutional theory, this study argues that entrepreneurs in their utilization and recombination of unique, nonmimetic knowledge are not always successful at creating new products. The empirical context is drawn from the Enterprise Survey produced by the Investment Climate Group of the World Bank. The findings based on a large sample of new ventures in developing countries reveal a curvilinear relationship with marginal diminishing returns between the degree of unique, nonmimetic knowledge and innovative performance.