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Jeff Howe
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What I saw in Watertown:

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There have been two significant developments in crowdfunding since that term first came into usage in 2006. The first was the rise of Kickstarter, which showed that the community-funded model a) had legs; and b) could scale. The second was the passage of the JOBS Act earlier this year, which showed that Congress (and Wall Street) recognized that crowdfunding had antiquated the old model of venture capital.

It was only natural that casual observors would conflate the two. And why shouldn't the world's most successful crowdfunding platform take the seemingly small step of opening itself up to investors looking to make equity stakes in small companies? In a few words, mission drift. As Erik Mack writes in, Kickstarter co-founder has a very specific idea of what Kickstarter should—and shouldn't—be. For one, "it's not a store." It's also not a run-up to a much-hyped IPO. What it is, and should be "for generations" to come, is a way for artists to fund their visions.
Interestingly,—the Pepsi to Kickstarter's Coca-Cola—has no intention of staying out of the equity gold rush. Again: Read Mack's article here.

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We're holding a contest on The Atlantic this month: In 1714 the British Parliament offered £10,000 ($12 million in today's dollars) to anyone who could figure out a way to determine a ship's longitude. An unknown clockmaker named John Harrison cracked the nut, saving kajillions in maritime shipping, thousands of lives, and proving the efficacy of—let's call a spade a spade—crowdsourcing. The Atlantic wants to know: What's the modern day equivalent of longitude? Global warming? Cancer? Five winners will receive copies of Dava Sobel's books.

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A working list of additional readings for December's #1book140 selection, PG Wodehouse's Right Ho, Jeeves.

1) Wodehouse: A Life, by Robert McCrum.
I gobbled this up as soon as it hit the shelves, and wasn't disappointed. If you're fascinated by the mind (and the milieu) that concocted such indelible creations as Psmith, Blandings Castle, and of course, our man's man, Jeeves, I highly recommend this biography.

2) Troubles, by JG Farrell
The winner of a posthumous Booker Prize, Farrell's novel, written in 1970, imagines a very Wodehousian world as it spins off its axis following WWI. It's a very dark complement to any tale located in the perpetually sunny Blandings Castle.

More soonest ...

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Yo bookies! What do you think is the best way to incorporate Google Plus discussions into 1Book140?

We spent a groggy morning taking a spin through some of our Elvis Costello favorites—"Shipbuilding," "Radio Radio," "Blame it on Cain"—and my wife posed the question: Who is today's Elvis equivalent?

What's your writing music? I've exhausted my Glenn Gould, my limited opera selections. I'm going with LCD Soundsystem right now, with middling success.
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