The Convoluted Profits of Academic Publishing
Richard Price always had an entrepreneurial bent. He started a cake business in his mum's kitchen during a summer break from his doctoral program at Oxford, eventually converting it into a sandwich-delivery service after realizing people only ate cake once a week. Then, when one of his philosophy papers took three years to get published, Price channeled his business interests into a new venture aimed at streamlining that academic process.
After finishing his DPhil (the English equivalent of a Ph.D.), Price raised venture capital in London and moved to San Francisco to start Academia.edu in 2008. On this site—which includes a social-networking function and allows users can “follow” others with similar interests—academics post drafts of papers, lecture notes, conference speeches, and published articles.