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What I'm reading: Franklin Jones

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Articles - September 2013
Monday, August 19, 2013

A history and environmental studies major in college, Franklin Jones says he always had a keen interest in learning about how earlier communities solved challenges “that are not all that different from those we face now.” In 2009 he founded B-Line, a Portland company that delivers produce, baked goods, bike parts and office supplies by bike. The startup is simply borrowing a transportation and delivery solution from an earlier point in history, “when our communities were not dependent on fossil fuels,” Jones says. Fiction or nonfiction, the books Jones consumes allow him to step back in time while providing ideas for the future. Here are two sources of inspiration:

Time and Again by Jack Finney

“First published in 1970, this classic tale of time travel was given to me by my most literate friend, with a postcard stating, ‘Uplifting, historically rich and ultimately about the palimpsest layers that live within our urban landscapes. Read it because it is the opposite of The Road!’ Who could turn down that recommendation?”

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Raising the Bar: Integrity and Passion in Life and Business By Gary Erickson

“This autobiography chronicles Gary Erickson’s journey with Clif Bar, Inc. While telling the story of Clif Bar’s ups and downs, Erickson draws parallels to his own adventures cycling the back roads of Europe and climbing the cliffs of Yosemite. Throughout the book, Erickson builds the case for building a company that can sustain the business, the brand, the people within the organization, the community and the environment.”


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