FounderScholar

An entrepreneur studies the business literature

About

Hi. I’m Kevin Taylor, a former tech company founder (Obtiva acquired by Groupon), Inc 5000 CEO, and CTO/software developer.  Now, I spend most of my time advising and investing in startups.

You are probably reading this because you have a deep interest in startups, entrepreneurship, or management.

On this site, I publish articles that share lessons I’ve learned from my own personal mistakes and triumphs and those of the startups with which I’ve been involved.

I also publish article reviews of research pieces—be they journal articles, case studies, or books.

If you are a doctoral student or considering taking that path, I share my experiences as a later-career doctoral student (DBA). I love the acquisition of knowledge and I share my experiences as I learn research methods.

Learning how to learn is a superpower. It provides you with an edge over your competitors and with an asset that can be used in a myriad of ways to move your project or company forward. In entrepreneurship, getting an edge over the competition matters.

I learn most effectively when I am pushing up against my comfort zone, where I haven’t yet crossed into confusion but confusion lay not far away.

By reading many research papers, and struggling with them, I put myself close to (and often just beyond) my comfort zone. It is hard work and, frankly, sometimes requires a bit of indoctrination into the statistics and research methods that I’m currently learning. This is the realm of graduate students, researchers, and academics.

In the “Interesting Literature” section of the site, I pick an interesting, influential or useful work from the business literature and summarize it in an attempt to make it useful or relevant to entrepreneurs and others working in the startup community. 12 I always strive to illuminate each—sometimes dry or esoteric—piece in a light of practicality.

In the site’s Blog, I chronicle my journey from experienced startup founder, investor, and advisor to doctoral student studying business and entrepreneurship, research methods, and statistical analysis. I discuss my work as a  startup advisor and investor and search for connections between what I study in school and what I see in the real world.

More about my background

I founded Obtiva, a custom software development company, in 2005 after gaining experience as a financial trader, software developer, and incessant entrepreneur. Six years later Obtiva had become the preeminent software development shop in Chicago and Obtiva was acquired by Groupon in 2011.

In addition to founding Obtiva, I was a Partner at MadMimi.com, which was sold to GoDaddy in 2014. I’m also a former Co-Owner of EventWax.com, which was sold in 2015, and a Co-Founder of the Software Craftsmanship North America conference, which is still active under Eighth Light‘s expert guidance.

Five years after leaving Groupon, I’ve started a new journey. I’m pursuing a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) at DePaul University. In the program, my focus of study will center around entrepreneurship. This requires that I become familiar with the ever expanding base of existing research and eventually find a niche to which I can contribute via my own dissertation and journal publications. By writing for this site, I force myself to exercise my writing and analysis muscles in order to produce something from which others may benefit.

I hope you find some value here.


 

  1. Credit goes to Adrian Colyer at The Morning Paper for the idea of regularly posting summaries of academic articles framed for practitioners. In Adrian’s case, he summarizes a computer science-related paper every morning!
  2. If you like the “academic papers framed for practitioners” micro-genre, I recommend also checking out Fermat’s Library, where they send out a weekly academic paper digitally annotated by a community of readers.