“Af­ter porn and gam­bling, pol­i­tics is the fastest adopter of new tech­nol­ogy”

Bloomberg Businessweek (North America) - - Focus On/ Retirement -

What of­ten per­suades clients to sign on is the abil­ity to raise money be­hind en­emy lines. “In the­ory, no Demo­crat would ever give to a Repub­li­can and vice versa,” Spin­ner says. But many do. Of­ten, they’re drawn to a par­tic­u­lar can­di­date or is­sue. To demon­strate how to find them, Spin­ner—a Demo­cratic fundraiser and denizen of lib­eral Menlo Park, Calif.—up­loads his own 6,933 con­tacts and op­ti­mizes them for an imag­i­nary Repub­li­can con­gres­sional can­di­date. Within min­utes, the soft­ware merges 605 du­pli­cate en­tries, then ranks the 6,328 peo­ple on a 100-point scale. Hun­dreds of Spin­ner’s con­tacts are shaded red or pink, in­clud­ing sev­eral prom­i­nent ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists who are ma­jor Demo­cratic donors. An­other click re­veals the Repub­li­can can­di­dates or causes to which Spin­ner’s con­tacts have given, which the soft­ware cor­re­lates with our own (fic­ti­tious) Repub­li­can. Were he real, it would alert us if a prospec­tive donor had al­ready given the le­gal max­i­mum or given to the op­pos­ing can­di­date, so we would know not to em­bar­rass him

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