Mohammad Keyhani, PhDPhD in Strategic Management, York University, Canada
MSc in Entrepreneurship, University of Tehran, Iran
BSc in Applied Mathematics, University of Tehran, Iran
Areas of Research
A lot has been written about how entrepreneurs are using digital technology to change the world, but less work has been done on understanding how digital technology is changing the nature of entrepreneurship itself. Understanding the digital technologies of entrepreneurship is a passion of mine. I enthusiastically follow the changing nature of entrepreneurship in the digital world, including the landscape of tools available to entrepreneurs (i.e., "startup stacks") that allow them to do so much with so little.
It has famously been said that "software is eating the world" but there has been an important bottleneck that has slowed down its pace: the difficulty of software development and the scarcity of coders. Now, with the rise of no-code tools like Airtable, Zapier, Webflow, and no-code software development platforms like Bubble.io and Adalo, that bottleneck is being removed. We are at the dawn of a new growth surge in software entrepreneurship led by no-code entrepreneurs. This trend is likely to democratize access to scalable digital opportunities, and overhaul the incentive structures, cost patterns, application areas, and overall nature of digital entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship is blind without strategy and strategy is paralyzed without entrepreneurship. This sentence from my paper "The Logic of Strategic Entrepreneurship" was one of the key insights I gained from a line of work (starting from my PhD dissertation) using computer simulation and mathematical modeling to connect the underlying economics of entrepreneurship to the foundational economics of strategy. The intersection of entrepreneurship and strategy has been the overarching theme in much of my past work and I continue to be interested in this area.
The idea of “generativity” has been defined by Harvard law scholar Jonathan Zittrain as “a system’s capacity to produce unanticipated change through unfiltered contributions from broad and varied audiences.” An alternative way to describe generativity is a mechanism that allows for a massive increase of participation into the value creation process and allows for the conversion of this participation into a massive increase of innovation. Generativity is an important but under-recognized source of competitive advantage for some of the most successful digital companies of our time. The generativity mechanism of competitive advantage can be defined in simple terms as the mechanism of profiting from the unpredicted innovations of others on a massive scale. I'm interested in learning how to achieve a generativity advantage, and understanding the pros and cons of pursuing it, the trade-offs involved, and the ways in which entrepreneurship strategy may need to be different if the product is meant to be generative.
Working with this supervisor
I hope to cultivate the following qualities in myself and my students in order to become better scholars: be highly self disciplined and able to manage time and impose deadlines on self, constantly think of the priorities for our time and attention, be passionate about valid claims to knowledge and truth, enjoy intellectual play, write a lot and work on our writing skills, use productivity tools like note taking and reference management software to be more efficient, be comfortable with unstructured and ambiguous work, be comfortable reading scholarly articles we don't fully understand, talk to a lot of people to understand multiple perspectives, be able to analyze data rigorously, be open to learning multiple methodologies, find fascination in a broad range of topics, look for ways to connect and combine ideas from different areas, and think regularly about the future of human society and how the world is changing.