Silicon Valley’s iconic bookstore Kepler’s just launched a project to transition to a next-generation literary venture. In this interview, Praveen Madan, the leader of Keplers2020 will address the following questions: Why do people still care about community bookstores? Why re-invent a community bookstore? Is radical change needed? Is it necessary? What would the community bookstore of the future look like? What is Keplers2020 and why are venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, among others, signing up with their time and money? Why is Kepler’s adopting the path of open-source innovation? What new software applications are needed to support a renaissance to revitalize thousands of community bookstores?
Thad McIlroy is an electronic publishing analyst and author based in San Francisco and Vancouver, BC. His site, The Future of Publishing, is the most in-depth on the industry. McIlroy provides consulting services to publishing and media companies, including Apple Computer, Microsoft, Pearson and Xerox.
With over thirty years of experience in the publishing industry (including five years as Program Director for Seybold Seminars), McIlroy is a well-established expert in the technology and marketing issues surrounding electronic publishing, color imaging and the Internet. He has authored a dozen books and over 200 articles on these subjects. McIlroy is on the editorial board of the journal Learned Publishing and the Canadian literary journal, Geist.
Praveen Madan is a literary entrepreneur who quit his cushy corporate job in consulting and technology to focus on building the community bookstore for the 21st century. Praveen kicked-off his pursuit in 2007 by teaming up with Christin Evans to acquire and transform the Booksmith bookstore in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury. In 2009, he partnered with Cody’s long-term events manager Melissa Mytinger to launch Berkeley Arts & Letters, which has become one of the top speaking series in the Bay Area. Recently Praveen stepped in to save Kepler’s, the iconic Bay Area bookstore, from imminent closure and is working closely with a group of community champions to transform Kepler’s into a next generation literary venture built around a new level of community engagement, stewardship, and sustainability. Praveen is also on the Board of Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
Before jumping full-time into the world of books and ideas, Praveen was a VP of Marketing at Trilogy Software and a Principal Consultant at A.T. Kearney. Praveen holds a Bachelor of Engineering from IIT, New Delhi and an MBA from University of Texas at Austin. Praveen’s Twitter handle is @pmadan.
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