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The New Polymath: Profiles in Compound-Technology Innovations (Wiley Professional Advisory Services) [Kindle Edition]

Vinnie Mirchandani
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Prepare for a world of compound innovation which blends 3, 5, 10 strands of infotech, greentech, biotech and healthtech to solve the "Grand Challenges" our world faces-and the more routine ones

Polymath is the Greek word for a Renaissance person like Leonardo Da Vinci or Ben Franklin who excels in many disciplines. The New Polymath is an enterprise which has learned to amalgamate 3, 5, 10 strands of technology-infotech, cleantech, healthtech, nanotech, biotech-to create compound new products and to innovate internal processes.

Anchors around case studies on innovations and creative processes at 8 New Polymath enterprises - BP, Cognizant, GE, Kleiner Perkins, National Hurricane Center, Plantronics, salesforce.com, WRHambrecht+Co

Details eleven building blocks these Polymaths are utilizing - from cloud computing to sustainability to social networks

Calatogs over 100 mini case studies of other innovators who are defining state-of-the-art in those eleven building block areas

The New Polymath brims with innovation examples from a variety of industries, countries and business processes.



Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

A Polymath—the Greek word for Renaissance Man—is one who excels in many disciplines. From Leonardo da Vinci to Benjamin Franklin, we have relied on Polymaths to innovate and find creative solutions to the problems of the day. How would these Renaissance men and women manage our current technology bounty? Which disciplines would they choose to focus on? Would they work on the architecture of next-generation green cities, or focus on nanotechnology?

As our challenges have grown exponentially we need to bring together da Vinci, Franklin, and many more. The New Polymath is an enterprise that excels in multiple technologies—infotech, cleantech, healthtech, and other tech—and leverages multiple talent pools to create new medicine, new energy, and new algorithms.

Author Vinnie Mirchandani shares his varied experience as a technology adviser and market watcher to explain in business language the diversity of today's technology palette and to profile a wide range of innovations at:

  • Large multinationals such as GE and BP

  • Fast-growing, midsized companies like Cognizant and salesforce.com

  • The cleantech industry in China, farms in Ireland, and the back roads of Rwanda

This book categorizes eleven "building blocks" for the New Polymath to leverage in its R-E-N-A-I-S-S-A-N-C-E framework, including next-generation analytics, cloud computing, sustainability, and social networks. The author profiles over a hundred innovators and demonstrates how they use these building blocks to solve both their individual day-to-day issues and the "Grand Challenges" the world faces.

Brimming with examples from a variety of industries, countries, and business processes, the book will inspire you to groom your own New Polymath tools, processes, and ecosystem of innovation ideas.

From the Back Cover

More about The New Polymath
"Mirchandani describes a future of possibilities  - "fortunate accidents of innovation" - enabled by the convergence of technologies with a dose of ideas from "left field". As the founder of Rural Sourcing, we believed in the untapped potential of our young people in Rural America. The possibilities are limitless when there are no geographic boundaries to our workforce and we can truly move the work to the worker rather than the worker to the work."
--Kathy Brittain-White, Former EVP and CIO, Cardinal Health; Founder, Rural Sourcing, Inc.
"Every 10-15 years the technology industry reinvents itself, taking all the achievements and knowledge from the prior generation and turning them into a platform for new innovation.  That regular cycle of rebirth has transformed the way we work, live and play - around the world. Mirchandani has done a fabulous job shining a light on examples of people and organizations that take what exists around us and turn  it into what is possible.  These are the innovators that inspire us."
--Dave Duffield, co-CEO and Chief Customer Advocate, Workday; former Chairman and CEO, PeopleSoft, Inc.
"Mirchandani is one of the few technology analysts to realize that technology doesn't come in neat bundles anymore, if it ever did. His stories and lessons cut across infotech, biotech, greentech, and mathtech. If you want to be a Polymath innovator, this is your bible!"
--Thomas H. Davenport, President's Distinguished Professor of IT and Management, Babson College; coauthor of Analytics at Work: Smarter Decisions, Better Results
"In today's world, innovation distinguishes great companies from good ones.Mirchandani highlights the importance of technology in such innovation and, specific to IT, counsels about being a full partner of the business and being open to the best ideas from other industries and geographies.?The book is full of examples on how to accomplish this and should be required reading for all IT professionals and students."
--Caroline Watteeuw, Global CTO and SVP, Business Information Solutions, PepsiCo, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1047 KB
  • Print Length: 388 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0470618302
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (June 15, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003TFE8QU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #599,963 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
(12)
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ten Rules of Success of The New PolyMath June 16, 2010
Format:Hardcover
Having read an advance copy of Vinnie Mirchandani's The New Polymath, I have to say that it is a riveting read. It's SuperFreakonomics for us technophiles. Because, for better or worse, The New Polymath (who can be thought of as a modern Leonardo da Vinci) must also be an IT guru ... as it is information technology that is paving the way for a new generation of polymaths that have access to unprecedented levels of information across disciplines.

Rather than tell you that this fresh and inviting (Benjamin Fried, CIO Google) book is filled with incredible examples of passionate entrepreneurs (Marc Benioff, CEO [...]), that I am inspired by this book (Maynard Webb, CEO LiveOps), or that Mirchandani is one of the few technology analysts to realize that technology doesn't come in neat bundles anymore (Thomas H. Davenport, President's Chair Babson College), I'm going to talk about The New Polymath's ten rules for success which pop out at you if you read between the lines.

Why? One of the Polymath's chronicled in Vinnie's masterful manuscript is Brian Sommer, technology consultant extraordinaire of TechVentive and renowned ZDNet blogger, who asks "where are the 10 commandments for technology" as he struggles with the challenges of cyberethics that few dare to address. It's a good question, and one that I believe we are not yet ready to answer. Which leads me to ask, "how do we get there"? Well, the first step is to obviously become learned, and successful, polymaths well equipped to ask, and debate, the question. To this end, we need a guide ... a guide that, if you dig deep, is found within Vinnie's terrific tome.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting collection of blogs posts September 22, 2011
By Mike F
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was very interested in the topic and about polymaths in history and some that I have known, so it was with great anticipation that I bought the book. The book seems to be a collection of blog posts by the author, which leads to a book that is hard to track. He has a thesis, but the book is not organized in a way that it flows to support the thesis. It is agony to read. I read a few pages of interesting factoids, then pause to think, why is he saying that or what is the point. The general flow is: fact, unrelated tidbit, something innovative, implying that the subject, usually a company, is a polymath. Rinse and repeat. He overuses the word polymath so much that its grating. I disagree with the concept that a company can be a polymath just because they can be good a several things.

There are lots of quite interesting factoids and blogs in the book, lots of descriptions of companies that are innovative (with no point), but it seriously needs a real editor to try to make it readable.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making Us Think Differently About Innovation June 17, 2010
Format:Hardcover
I first ran into Vinnie Mirchandani's work in his "Deal Architect" blog, where he has developed a reputation for jolting enterprise software vendors with his skepticism over vendor hype and searing critiques of lazy business models. "Where is the innovation?" is one of his most common refrains. What I did not realize until recently was that Vinnie has taken it one step further, and thoroughly documented the kinds of innovations he is pressing vendors for. This is the heart of his "New Polymath" book - documenting innovations across industries, specific examples from more than 40 countries.

But if this book was just an encyclopedia of innovation, it would wind up on a shelf somewhere. It is more. Vinnie has put these innovations into a compelling narrative, a story of "grand ideas." To Vinnie, innovation is not a buzzword for spit-polishing a business model, it's a much higher stakes game. Vinnie seeks out and documents game-changing corporate initiatives - those that are rooted in community sensibility and sustainability - not simply in the ecological sense but in the broader sense of creating a better society while achieving significantly better business value. No simple task, right? Thus Vinnie's argument for the "New Polymath," the ability to "compound technologies" from eleven building blocks he details in this book - technologies that when smartly combined, enable this kind of business transformation.

This is not a pie-in-the-sky book, but a collection of case studies and specific examples. The sum of that is to challenge all of us to think bigger and pursue a more radical business purpose - not because it might happen someday, but because it's happening now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making Business and Individuals more competitive June 26, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
Polymath is Greek for a Renaissance Man like Leonardo Da Vinci or Ben Franklin - someone good at many skills. The New Polymath, in the book's definition, is an enterprise good at many technologies and at leveraging multiple talent pools. It is an enterprise which has learned to blend 3, 5, 10 strands of infotech, biotech, cleantech etc. to come up with compound new solutions which we could not have delivered a few years ago.Vinnie, the quintessential polymath as defined in the book, starts by observing that for the most part today, most of us seem to specialize and highlights the fact that we are monomaths in a world of exploding knowledge and passionately argues for more and more polymaths to be nurtured both at the institutional and at personal levels. With monomaths around, Vinnie argues that many ecosystems are going through a phase aka the dark ages, where there was plenty of living, but there was little forward movement in terms of progress. It was defined by its relative "nothingness". Drawing a parallel to the current time, he points out, in the information technology space, there is lack of nutrition--so much of the spending is wasted. In sustainability, there is lack of agreement--there are so many rancors in spite of so many global concerns. In health care, it is about lack of availability--so much of the world does not have access to all the advances in technology--or even basic health care. The core of these problems Vinnie argues ,amongst others centers on monomath thinking and execution.

Rather than stopping at pointing to inhibitors, in the book Vinnie comes with a refreshing , practical and promising alternate approach -one that can be widely adopted at all levels, big and small enterprises, business and individuals etc.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book about why industries get disrupted
Not only did this book outlay how industries get disrupted by technologies but, why they get disrupted and by the type of industry player that embraces innovation and change. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Patelli T Paschal
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Mirchandani is a visionnaire and this book puts on a paper what's expected from the new inventors and professionals in this new era of knowledge and technology
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great samples
I like the book, the stories and the many samples it provides. If you are inside innovation and large corporate life this is a nice book to have in your library.
Published 10 months ago by Luca
2.0 out of 5 stars Trying to connect the dots
Writing a relevant and interesting business book may be one of the toughest jobs for an author. "The New Polymath" offers a lot of good content, but on balance the book doesn't... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Craig Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Rife with great examples; not your average business/tech book
Many technology and business books suffer from dry statistics and charts. Mirchandani understands that people learn best via examples and case studies, and this book is rife with... Read more
Published on August 14, 2010 by Philip Simon
5.0 out of 5 stars A firehose of up to date information, a must read book this year
You can imagine that on my desk I have several (today 21) books to choose from to read. I was really peeved when I picked up Vinnies book when it first arrived for a quick scan. Read more
Published on July 13, 2010 by Reg Nordman
5.0 out of 5 stars Making Business and Individuals More Competitive:
Polymath is Greek for a Renaissance Man like Leonardo Da Vinci or Ben Franklin - someone good at many skills. Read more
Published on June 26, 2010 by Sadagopan.S
5.0 out of 5 stars Because we all need to be more of a Renaissance person
I guess I've always known that I have the mind of a teenager. I'm always looking for new things, new ideas and new experiences. Read more
Published on June 18, 2010 by Brian S. Sommer
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More About the Author

Vinnie Mirchandani has been called "The King of Wow" for his keen eye for technology-enabled innovation. His blog, New Florence. New Renaissance. has cataloged 2,500 posts of innovative products, projects, and people in work, life, and play. His last 2 books, The New Technology Elite and The New Polymath, have been widely praised as an "innovation firehoses" His books draw on the breadth of his blogs, extensive research and a global perspective from his travels to over 50 countries.

He is President of Deal Architect Inc, a technology advisory firm. The firm helps clients take advantage of disruptive trends like cloud computing and business process outsourcing (BPO) before they go mainstream. Between this firm and previous role at the technology research firm, Gartner he has helped clients evaluate and negotiate over $10 billion in technology contracts.

He spent his early career at Price Waterhouse, first as an accountant, then as a technology consultant (that division is now part of IBM). He has been quoted in most major technology and business publications, and he has presented at a wide range of industry events.

Read more about the author, advance praise for book and excerpts from chapters at the book websites thenewtechnologyelite.com and thenewpolymath.com


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