The New Polymath – the seven year itch

John Wiley released The New Polymath seven summers ago. Lots of readers tell me it is my best book. It inspired them as executives to build multi-disciplinary teams and multi-faceted products. Modern and ancient polymaths I described have inspired other readers to broaden their own skillsets.

They say Millennials treasure experiences over physical possessions. Book writing has made me feel much younger and similarly treasure experiences.  Each of my six books has introduced me to hundreds of innovative executives and forced me to do lots of research and learn about subjects I knew little about or to surprises around topics I thought I knew a lot about. While I appreciate the compliment of Polymath as my best book, I take pride in all of them.

The big aha to me across the seven years since is how slowly technology matures, gets adopted and transforms societies. Us technologists constantly brag we live in a fast-moving industry. Silicon Collar forced me to look at a century of automation, identify circuit breakers which slow down adoption of machines and challenge the hysteria that the contemporary generation of machines will destroy tens of millions of jobs any time soon. SAP Nation 2.0 forced me to study next-gen products at Oracle, Infor, Microsoft, J.D. Edwards and SAP over the last quarter century and see how slowly enterprise software matures and sells. The excitement around healthtech and cleantech I described in Polymath has met the cold hard realities of markets and incumbent interests.

That frustration of slow change only spurs more innovation. The New Polymath was born out of patterns I had seen in the 2,000+ posts on my New Florence innovation blog in the preceding 5 years. In the seven years since the blog has cataloged another 3,500 entries.  The next version of Polymath enterprises and innovators is analyzing the patterns in that knowledge base.

Life keeps getting better. Gradually.

Vinnie Books

(Cross-posted @ Deal Architect)

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