Michelle Miller has me hooked on her serial novel, The Underwriting, about the financing of a social media IPO underway right now, like NOW! Ms. Miller comes from financial services, and has the millennial genes to understand and deliver the snarky remarks, the nuances of fashion, the ambitions, the preening, the disappointments, and the ephemeral victories that are the bread and butter of her generation, or as she hinted over coffee yesterday, this Bubble 2.0.
Launched March 5, 2014 and released Wednesdays in 12 episodes, Ms. Miller’s project is a book in itself, if someone got around to writing it. She’s raised money to finance it and runs the project like a business. She’s got a team that stretches from LA to Bangalore. She’s had herself arrested for publicity. She hangs out at Starbucks distributing leaflets. She’s been in Elle. She’s made a couple of videos (see her site). She’s got audio. She’s got free, binge, single issue, and subscription purchase options. She’s written it for the little screen, and I can’t wait to see it. Someone produce it, please!
The fictional Hook is a Tinderesque dating app NOT born out of its author’s own needs, but rather out of a calculating observation about human behavior. Josh, the CEO, is at least 1 sigma smarter than the rest of the characters. He’s decided to take the company public, and is using the company’s high profile to drive a hard bargain with a weakened underwriter in need of a home run. All the caricatures—jock finance guys, nerdy Indian girls in need of a makeover, Ivy League 7’s, the underclass from EPA, sleek ABCs (that’s American Born Chinese), wealth managers who have only your best interest at heart, the executives to whom we are all muppets, and so on—are in place, and that would be a fatal flaw, even with Ms. Miller’s shrewd eye for detail, but if she hadn’t constructed the tale as a platform to … well, only Episodes 1-6 have been released, so I’m not sure exactly where she’s going, but I can see the outlines. I’m guessing that several smart plans are going to explode as Lady Luck works her black magic on the unaware. Of course, if these characters had been through Bubble 1.0, they’d be plenty aware. Then there’s the college athlete run amok, a primer on using regressive taxation to build the next aristocracy, the debate about ecstasy and drugs in general, gender discrimination in the workplace, bad sex, what women learn from their vibrators, and SF and NYC compared and contrasted—see also wrote a fictional manifesto on that subject.
Pay your $10 to get the subscription. Follow the conversation using #gethooked, or follow Michelle Miller @ammiller1012
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