Sunday, January 06, 2013

CNN Next List: Jim McKelvey, on "Square", book publishing, and Beethoven

On Sunday, January 06, 2013, Sanjay Gupta on CNN presented Jim McKelvey on his “Next List”, as a “21st Century Renaissance Man” from St. Louis.  I remember a co-worker friend back in the 1970s who described himself as a wannabe “renaissance man”.  I’ve lost track of him, but he did get a paper published in mathematics while I worked there (the Navy Dept). 
McKelvey, 47, is an entrepreneur in several areas.  He is best known for his “Square” , a mobile payments service, and his Third Degree Glass Factory. 

His comments about book publication caught my attention.  He said that it used to be that the collaboration between author, editor, literary agent, and publisher (as performing separate functions) created real value for readers.  Much of that is being lost in today’s culture of self-publishing on e-books.  His own publishing services company is called “Mira Smart”, which is an outgrowth or rebirth of an early pre-Internet publishing services venture.  The link is here. I’m not sure how his company fits into today’s world of supported self-publishing.
McKelvey mentioned the idea that many kids who go wrong could have become programmers. But then, some of them become hackers!
An interesting segment shows McKelvey playing the last (Presto) movement (not the famous first movement) of the Beethoven Moonlight Sonata #14 in C# Minor (“Quasi una fantasia”).  He says that he found piano lessons frustrating but became fascinating by what get conveyed by the notation. Performing music makes people smarter.  I see it all the time. 
Here’s an account on Patch link.  

McKelvey has a particular interest in keeping business and human talent in older cities like his native St. Louis.  His ideas could work in Detroit.  

Wikipedia attribution link for picture of St. Louis  I’ve been there many times, in 1961, 1992, 2000. 

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